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ERITAGE 

INNESOTA 


Ann Merriman 


©2017 

Ann Merriman, Christopher Olson, and Maritime Heritage Minnesota 


Jf\ c L E A N 
'(Smto WATER 
LAND & 
LEGACY 

AMENDMENT 


Project Report 


RAMALEY BOATS 




WORLD FAMOUS CHROME FIBERCLAS 


_J_ 


Designers and Builders 

OF ALL KINDS OF 

Pleasure Craft 


Joseph Dingle Boat Works 




1 


Acknowledgments 

Maritime Heritage Minnesota thanks (MHM) the People of Minnesota for their support of 
the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant program, part of the Clean Water, 
Land and Legacy Amendment; without the MHCH Grant MHM received to conduct this 
work the project would not have gone forward. MHM thanks the Grants Office of the 
Minnesota Historical Society for their efforts. The Minnesota Small Craft Project could 
not have been completed without the support of the following: MHM Volunteer Kelly 
Nehowig, Mike Worcester and Johanna Ellison (Cokato Museum), Dan Cagley 
(Minnesota Historical Society), Bob Gasch and Judy Sutherland (West Hennepin 
History Center), Scott McGinnis, Joan Mooney (Waseca County Historical Society), Don 
Knauff, John Nordby (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources), Paul Petty, Karrie 
Roeschlein (City of Wahkon), Gary Vogesser, and the Gale Library staff at the 
Minnesota Historical Society. Lastly, MHM acknowledges the efforts of our Board 
Members Steven R. Hack, Deb Handschin, and Chair Michael F. Kramer for their 
continued support. 


MHM Staff, Volunteers, Board of Trustees, and Mascots 





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Volunteer Otoer 

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volunteer Diver 

Josh Knutson 


Trustee 

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Peebles Gat &Rodn ey Oaf 


©2017 

Ann Merriman, Christopher Olson, and Maritime Heritage Minnesota 

MHM IS A 501. (c). 3 NON-PROFIT CORPORATION DEDICATED TO THE DOCUMENTATION, CONSERVATION, 
AND PRESERVATION OF MINNESOTA’S FINITE MARITIME CULTURAL RESOURCES 



2 


Introduction 

Maritime Heritage Minnesota conducted the Minnesota Small Craft Project (MSC) 
between February and April 2017. The purpose of the Minnesota Small Craft Project 
was to document, 3D scan, and conduct historical research of 5 Minnesota-produced 
small boats located in 3 museum collections. MHM chose watercraft constructed by the 
Ramaley Boat Company of Wayzata, the Indian Post Trading Post Boat Company of 
Vineland, Joseph Dingle Boat Works of St. Paul, Cokato Boat Works of Cokato, and 
Herter’s, Inc. of Waseca. 


Research Design and Methodology 

Several Minnesota museums and historical societies have watercraft in their collections, 
boats that were constructed in the state. Often the general public, scholars, and 
students are unaware of the significance of small and seemingly mundane historic 
vessels preserved in our museums and historical societies. While undertaking research 
during the Minnesota Dugout Canoe Project, MHM took note of watercraft on exhibit 
and in storage at several museums. Drawing upon nautical archaeological and historical 
knowledge based on fieldwork and research, MHM chose 5 boats to investigate 
because they were Minnesota-built, rare, and relatively unknown in the maritime history 
of the state. MHM received permission of the holding institutions to 3D scan, measure, 
draw, and photograph 5 boats: Ramaley’s Fisherman’s Friend Row Boat, Outboard 
Motor Boats from the Indian Trading Post, Dingle, and Cokato Boat Works, and what 
was thought to be a Hudson Bay Model boat from Herter’s. The 3D scanning process is 
a new tool MHM has utilized since late 2016 to document smaller watercraft, beginning 
with the Big Swan Dugout Canoe at the McLeod County Historical Society. Beyond the 
actual scanning and documentation of the 5 boats during the MSC Project, another of 
MHM’s goal was to determine the usefulness of the inexpensive scanning technology 
chosen for the work, along with the quality of its output. 


MiKKesofca. 



rading Post Boat Works 


oseph Dingle Boat Works 


3 


The Minnesota Small Craft Project 

Fisherman’s Friend Row Boat 

West Hennepin History Center, Long Lake, Hennepin County 

History 

MHM learned of the existence of Fisherman’s Friend small boats in the early 2000s 
when the Minnesota Transportation Museum took custody of a 6-foot long example of 
the type. 1 Research conducted for Lake Minnetonka sonar survey and nautical 
archaeological projects uncovered a Ramaley Boat Company of Wayzata brochure, 
dated to about 1913. The Ramaley brochure included a Fisherman’s Friend row boat for 
sale. John Eugene Ramaley was one of the most prolific boat builders on White Bear 
Lake. As a young man, ‘Gene’ was put in charge of the sail and row boat fleet owned by 
his father, John D. Ramaley, docked at Ramaley’s Pavilion. During his first years 
working at the Pavilion, Gene acquired knowledge of boat construction - both powered 
and unpowered - that led to his future career as a boat builder and captain. Gene and 
his father began operating the steamer Manitoba in late May 1888 on White Bear Lake. 
In 1891, with the experience gained from maintaining Manitoba and his father’s fleet of 
recreational boats, Gene designed and built his first two yachts, Bird and Shadow. In 
1895 Gene founded Ramaley Boat Company in a small barn, and then constructed a 
much larger shop on the lake in Cottage Park in 1899. The elder Ramaley was one of 
the boat company’s customers as well when Gene built a new launch for his father in 
late May 1899. Gene also constructed and ran his own steamers White Bear and 
Wildwood beginning in 1900 and 1901. By 1912 the business was called the Ramaley 
Boat Building and Navigation Company. In that year, Ramaley purchased the Moore 
Boat Works on Lake Minnetonka in Wayzata, reportedly for $20,000. Ramaley 
continued operations on both White Bear Lake and Lake Minnetonka until 1925 when 
the entire boat-building enterprise was shifted to Wayzata. In 1929, Walker Boat Works, 
Wise Boat Works, and the Ramaley Boat Company combined to become the 
Minnetonka Boat Works in Wayzata (Castle 1912, 964; Lake Breeze, 1888a-c; 
McGinnis 2010, 302; Minnetonka Herald, 1954; St. Paul Daily Globe 1891a,d; Vadnais 
2004, 102; Wayzata Reporter 1912; White Bear Life 1900, 1901a-b). 



Left: Moore Boat Works in 1912, the same year the company was sold to Ramaley Boat Company (Sanborn 

Map Company 1904, 711). 

Right: 1919 Ramaley Boat Company advertisement (Hennepin County Herald 1919, digitized by MHM). 


This small wreck was illegally raised from the bottom of Lake Minnetonka’s Wayzata Bay sometime prior to 2000. 


4 


Fisherman’s Friend Row Boat 

MHM documented the Fisherman’s Friend Row Boat (FFRB) housed at the West 
Hennepin History Center (WHHC) on February 20, 2017. The FFRB derives its name 
from the model of small row boat produced by the Ramaley Boat Company in 1913 or 
later at its Wayzata location on Lake Minnetonka. The FFRB’s wooden hull is 13.75 feet 
long, 4.00 feet in the beam, with a 12-inch depth of hold. The boat’s flat bottom is 
athwartships planked - a diagnostic attribute for the Fisherman's Friend design. Both 
the port and starboard sides consist of one wide strake - a plank - along with a thinner 
gunwale plank with an attached rubrail. The boat’s side planks are joined end to end, 
making it carvel-built. The stem consists of a rounded stempost attached to the keel 
with a triangular sampson post attached to the inner surface that extends vertically 
above the gunwale. The sampson post has a hole bored through it that served as a 
towing ring and possibly has an attachment point for a forestay. Forward, the keel is a 
single flat, narrow beam while at the stern, it is a two-piece beam that extends 
significantly below the boat’s bottom forming a skeg. The square transom, like the 
boat’s sides, is comprised of one wide strake topped with a narrower gunwale plank 
whose ends are angled downward to meet the port and starboard gunwale and rubrail. 
An unpainted vertical section on the transom marks the former location of the missing 
stempost. The FFRB has three bench seats, held up by short braces attached to the 
inner hull; the stern seat is missing along with the port side brace. A set of oarlock holes 
were bored vertically into the gunwale just aft of the amidships bench and two metal 
straps attached to the boat’s floor planks are remnants of the rower’s foot braces. It is 
unknown if the braces consisted of individual pads or a metal or wood bar that would 
slide under the straps. The FFRB is held together entirely with nails, not screws. 



The Fisherman’s Friend (MHM). 




5 




The Fisherman’s Friend in the Ramaley Boat Company's brochure around 1913 ( Ramaley Boat 

Company- 1913, digitized by MHM). 

Ramaley Fisherman’s Friend Row Boats were advertised to be 14.00 feet long, 46.00 
inches in the beam (3.83 feet), and a 14-inch depth of hold, although a 16.00 model was 
offered as well (Ramaley Boat Company~1913). MHM contends the nearly identical 
measurements of the FFRB depicted in Ramaley’s brochure - and the habit of rounding 
up numbers in catalogs and brochures - clearly suggests the boat housed at the WHHC 
was constructed by the Ramaley Boat Company in Wayzata after 1913. In addition to 
the FFRB in the collection of the WHHC, two Fisherman’s Friend wrecks have been 
identified on the bottom of Lake Minnetonka. The Fisherman's Friend Wreck 1 (21 -HE- 
485) is 12.80 feet long, 2.80 feet wide, with a 1.40-foot depth of hold. The wreck is 
capsized and lying with its flat athwartships-planked bottom exposed; the wreck has no 
surviving keel plank. The bow is sharply pointed and the stern has a square transom 
design. The wreck is constructed of three strakes on each side with a rubrail attached to 
the top-most strake on port, starboard, and the square transom as well. The 
Fisherman's Friend Wreck 2 (21-HE-489) is 15.00 feet long, 3.20 feet wide, with a 
12.00-inch depth of hold at the stern. The wreck's bow would have been pointed, but 





6 


only the stempost with two hull plank fragments attached to it survive, but are detached 
from the wreck. The hull is carvel-built, it has a square stern, and a flat athwartships- 
planked bottom that is a diagnostic attribute for the Fisherman's Friend design. Although 
the wreck is profusely covered in zebra mussels, a small section of exposed hull 
indicates it is painted white. A large rock sits in the wreck at the stern, indicating the 
wreck was likely scuttled (Merriman and Olson 2015, 7-10, 2016, 6-8). 




Above: Ole Backlund painting his 
Fisherman’s Friend on Lake 
Minnetonka prior to Spring launch in 
May 1937 (MNHS Qv1.2r8, digitized 
by MHM). 


Left: A sketch of the Fisherman’s 
Friend Wreck 2 (21-HE-489, 
Christopher Olson) and the capsized 
Fisherman’s Friend Wreck 1 (21 -HE- 
485, Mark Slick). 



Using a Fisherman’s Friend guarantees great results during your fishing excursion, if you can get them 
in the boat (Left: 1918 Postcard; Right: Postcard, Courtesy of Bob Gasch). 



7 


The two Fisherman’s Friend Wrecks and the Ramaley-advertised version of the vessel, 
while not identical to the FFRB, are the same design. The FFRB lacks diagnostic 
attributes that are defined by a calendar date, such as the presence of slot-head or 
Phillips head woodscrews. The boat is held together entirely by nails and in some 
places, abundant numbers of them. MHM suggests a FFRB construction date of the 
1920s. The Fisherman’s Friend Row Boat’s condition is dependent on a stable 
environment with an appropriate relative humidity level near 65%. The vessel has 
begun to warp, but this will cease - but not be reversed - if it is allowed to rest on a 
stable flat base, with support along the bottom on either side of the keel. 



8 


Examples of Ramaley Boat Company Vessels 

(See McGinnins 2010 for information on many Ramaley boats on Lake Minnetonka). 



ramaley row BOATS 

* Imt Wwta), * n<i , our ^lv e studied the requirement* of careful t 

I "r position to build It ^ ^ money and stall, & 


RAMALEY 


WAYZATA. MINN. 


MINNETONKA STOCK MODEL 


special hshing 


COMMNAJS?. 


bear, MODEL 36 


HUNTING AND FISHING BOATS 


Y DE LUXE ROW BOAT 


■S&F 


-1913 Ramaley Boat Company 
Brochure (MNHS, digitized by MHM) 
White Bear Model 36 is remarkably 
similar to the Joseph Dingle Boat Works 
Outboard Motor Boat (see page 21). 


"J RAMALEY DETACHABLE STOCK MOTOR ROW BOATS 


The Ramaley Family Motor Boat (Ramaley Boat Company 1911) and the Ramaley Family Motor Boat 

Wreck (21-HE-490) in Lake Minnetonka. 






■ 


9 


Indian Trading Post Boat Works Outboard Motor Boat (1996.250.1) 
Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Ramsey County 


History 

MHM first learned of the Indian Trading Post Boat Works (ITPBW) on Lake Mille Lacs 
when visiting the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) warehouse in January 2014. 2 
The ITPBW, established in May 1929, was a subsidiary of the Mille Lacs Trading Post 
owned by Harry and Jeannette Ayer. It was reported that the “Indian Trading Post has a 
new boat factory, having purchased the Lucus boat works in Wahkon”. The ITPBW was 
located on the grounds of the Mille Lacs Indian Trading Post; apparently Ayer 
purchased the Lucus firm’s equipment and re-located it to Vineland. By the end of May 
1929, boatbuilding was in full swing and the company advertised in a local paper and 
invited readers to “visit our new factory, and see them under construction”. The 
enterprise employed only Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe members and within a few years of 
its founding, the ITPBW was touted as a success in the region. This enterprise 
employed 18 men to construct and operate boats for the Post’s tourist fishing 
excursions, and for sale to the general public (Brainerd Daily Dispatch 1929, 1933; Mille 
Lacs Messenger 1929; MNHS Finding Aid, ND). 


An aerial view of the Indian Trading 
Post Boat Works on Lake Mille Lacs 
(John R. Borchert Map Library, 17 
September 1939). 


. ■ ■■ 

■ 

f 

:• Y». M- i 

i* f 'c. h. 



znnz 


Right: Ayer 
promoted the 
Indian Trading 
Post Boat Works 
in the local 
paper (Mille 
Lacs Messenger 
1929). 


Indian Trading Post 

BOATS 

■ T ;[ - • ■ v . • !/ • 

Built from quality material for years of service. 
Designed for safety and seaworthiness, ease in 
4 handling, sturdiness, style and comfort. 
Available in various sizes and models for outboard 
motors, livery, pleasure or family iise. 
Visit our new factory,- and see them under con- 
struction. 

Mille Lacs Indian Trading Post 

. | Highway No. 18 

Postoffice — Onamia, Minn. 


2 MHM was at the MNHS to document and take a wood sample from a dugout canoe for the Minnesota Dugout Canoe Project. 



10 



Z*«44 


Richard Skinaway 


Jim Hanks, Sr 


The employees of the Indian 
Trading Post Boat Works 
constructing wooden boats in their 
fully equipped workshop in March 
1931 (MNHS HE5.4p56, 
HE5.4p16 HE5.4p17, HE5.4p13, 
HE5.4p22, HE5.4p14, digitized by 
MHM). 


Jim Hanks, Sr, Joe Eagle, Unknown 


Jim Hanks, Sr 


Mr. Fairbanks 






11 



In November 1991, former Trading Post employees Fred B. Benjamin, Letitia B. 
Caldwell, Maude Kegg, Sally Mitchell, and Batiste Sam remembered people and 
activities associated with the Boat Works in the late 1920s-late 1930s in oral interviews. 
The boat factory itself was “a big barn-like building with high front steps”. “All the 
boatmaking equipment was there. ..They just worked on the ground floor.. .then probably 
boats were stored above. ..The boat factory wasn’t in operation during the winter.. .Mr. 
Blythe at one time was the overseer... Then Mr. Fairbanks was sort of a straw boss”. 
The boats constructed in the factory were described as “all strip-bottom boats. That I 
remember from the advertising. ..some were rowboats, and some were 
motorboats... they had a few twelve, not many - but fourteen, sixteen, eighteen and a 
few twenties. Mostly I guess the twenties came by order, but the popular sizes were 
fourteen and sixteen. ..Mr. Ayer kept fifty-six [boats]. ..for the resort use. Well, with 
twenty-six cabins and fifty-six fishing boats, we were so crammed every May 



12 


fifteenth... [for] the walleye fishing season” (Caldwell 1991, 37, 42-43; Mitchell 1991, 42- 
43). 



Tourist fishermen at the Indian Trading Post Boat Works dock, utilizig Post boats for fishing excursions 

(MNHS GV3.33r63, digitized by MHM). 

The interviewees recalled the names of several Ojibwe boat builders over the years: 
Joe Eagle, Sam Mitchell, Gene Mitchell, Jim Mitchell, Jim Hanks, Sr., Jim Hanks, Jr., 
Dick Skinaway, and Dick Garbow/Gahbow. Further, it was revealed that some of the 
builders also served as fishing guides and pilots. Fred Benjamin remembered “They had 
a great big dock too. That’s where all the boats [were] used. All those Indians used to 
go do the pilot on the motors and take tourists to the better fishing.... I didn’t see any 
non-Indian driving a motor. They never had no accident. Every time there’s a storm, 
Indians know exactly when the storm’s gonna go. They didn’t want to go. They didn’t 
want to take anybody out”. Maude Kegg stated “The Indian guys were making the 
boats, and there used to be a guide here... four-five-six-seven of them. They - those 
guys would take them [the tourists] to wherever they could fish. They’d know the reefs 
and where the fish bites, I suppose, so they had guides like that”. More than one 
interviewee remembered the ‘trading post fleet’ comprised of tourists in rented fishing 
boats and a towboat, operated by a guide or pilot: “He [Ayers] had a whole fleet when I 
was here...there’d be a motor on one and a pilot and tow line for all the others. Maybe 
they’d take out eight or ten boats on one tow line”. “I know my dad used to work there. 
He used to take the fishermen way down to the point with a motor boat. He hooked the 
boats with the fisherman in and then takes them over to the point... he was a guide for 
the fishermens. ...[his name was] Dick...Gahbow” (Benjamin 1991, 6; Kegg 1991, 15; 
Mitchell 1 991 , 39, 43; Sam 1 991 , 3, 42 44). 


13 



Lloyd Blithe, 
Unknown, Jim 
Hanks, Sr, Mr. 
Fairbanks, Joe 
Eagle, Richard 
Garbow/Gahbow, 
Leticia (Daly) 
Caldwell in truck 
(MNHS HE5.4p1 1 , 
digitized by MHM) 


Jim Hanks, Jr, 
Richard Skinaway, 
Jim Hanks, Sr, 
Jim Mitchell 
(MNHS HE5.4p20, 
digitized by MHM) 


Leticia (Daly) Caldwell and the crew (MNHS HE5.4r21, digitized by MHM). 






14 


Letitia Caldwell supplied a colorful description of the ‘fleet’: “They’d hook one boat 
behind the other, and this long train of boats. They’d hook one boat behind the other, 
and this long train of boats would be going out around the point from the bay. Old 
Moqua would take out sixteen-twenty boats at a time. ..[a] long string chugging along 
behind the one motor boat that they used. Old Moqua would be taking them out there, 
and he’d take them way around the point, out of sight of the store. In the evening he’d 
go back and get them. They just had to stay out there all day, unless they wanted to row 
back. I can still see those trains of boats, like a bunch of little ducks” (Caldwell 1991, 
38). 



Sally Mitchell described one strong Lake Mille Lacs wind storm and its affect on the 
Trading Post Fleet’ and boaters: “My brother was working down at Lakeside Inn. It was 
very very windy - a terrific windstorm. They had taken boats out from down there, and 
our boats had gone out from here [the Trading Post], Ours had come back in. My 



15 


brother was in one of the boats from down at Lakeside Inn, and his boat broke loose. 
He was in the last boat. It had broken loose from the line of them. He had not an oar, a 
paddle or anything in the boat, and he was just set adrift. From the gentleman who had 
the lead boat with the motor on it tried to turn, but the other boat was moving faster than 
he could get back to it. Se he went on in and told them that there was a boat adrift with 
a man in it. They called up here. There was one of the Indian boys, Johnny Door, was 
here. He said he’d take a boat out. He took a boat out from here and went out and got 
my brother’s boat and towed it in. My brother was sick for the rest of the day, really 
honestly seasick. That was quite a rescue” (Mitchell 1991 , 53). 

Ayer stored the fishing boats on site during the winter. Apparently the factory ceased 
producing boats in 1939 and the building was torn down sometime around 1940. Fred 
Benjamin believed the main reason for the demise of the boat works was ’’The man that 
did a lot of boat work.. .he passed away. So it kind of got [shut] down. ..That was Hanks, 
Jim Hanks”. It was believed that no examples of watercraft produced by the Indian 
Trading Post Boat Works craftsmen survived, that they simply rotted away or were 
burned to dispose of them. However, MNHS records stipulate that Ayer sold the boat 
works to the US Department of the Interior in 1939; whether the factory continued to 
produce watercraft or was torn down at that time is unknown. In the end, the Indian 
Trading Post Boat Works reportedly constructed 200 boats from 1929-1939 - (Benjamin 
1991, 4, 6; MNHS Timeline ; Waymarking 2013) with only one confirmed example 
surviving. 3 

Indian Trading Post Boat Works Outboard Motor Boat 

MHM documented the ITPBW Outboard Motor Boat (IOMB) on February 8 and 17 and 
March 1, 8, and 10, 2017 at the MNHS warehouse. The lOMB’s wooden hull is 17.25 
feet long, 3.75 feet in the beam, with a 21.00-inch depth of hold. The stem consists of a 
triangular outer stempost that is curved and attached to the keel. Large bolts driven 
through the outer stempost attach it to the inner stempost (not seen). A U-shaped metal 
bracket attached to the outer hull goes through the strakes and the inner stempost; it 
holds a tow ring. At the stern, the keel protrudes from the hull bottom and is rectangular 
in cross-section. The gunwale of the IOMB is intact, although it is damaged from age 
and lack of maintenance. The lack of a caprail exposes the futtocks between the beams 
that comprise the gunwale. A thin rubrail is complete and attached to the port and 
starboard gunwales along the entire length of the boat, attached with slot-head screws. 
Further, on the port side of the boat 10.33 feet from the bow, a hull break extends from 
the gunwale to the turn of the bilge. Along the bilge turn, the strakes have separated 
and the aft portion of the hull angles inward and the forward portion of the hull angles 
outward. The hull consists of thin wooden strip strakes joined end to end, making it 
carvel-built. The substantial cambered foredeck is constructed of slightly wider strip 
planks than those that comprised the hull’s sides and bottom. 4 The aft edge of the 
foredeck is shaped by coaming that extends down each side of the boat. The square 
transom, designed to take an outboard motor, is comprised of 2 wide 1 .75-inch thick 
planks attached to the gunwale with slot-head wood screws. 


3 Ojibwe artist Terry Kemper informed MHM that another ITPBW vessel may survive in Florida; MHM hopes this is the case 
(personal communication, 24 February 2017). 

4 A damaged area on the foredeck suggests the boat may have had a navigation light that is now missing. MHM contends the 
wood was damaged by an object sitting on the deck for many years in uncontrolled conditions, not by fittings. 



16 



The 10MB has a wide flat bottom, a design necessary for stability and safety on Lake 
Mille Lacs. The aft section of the boat has clear tumblehome, where the hull narrows 
noticeably from the waterline to the gunwale. Inside the hull at the transom, a centerline 
knee - attached to the exposed keel (the boat does not have a keelson) and the 
transom with substantial bolts - adds a significant support to the stern to accommodate 
the outboard motor. Two horizontal knees on the port and starboard quarters at 
gunwale level also add stability and strength; vertical beams attached flush to the 
transom support these knees. The IOMB has thin frames attached to the inner hull, 
providing rigidity to the vessel. With the exception of the 3 aft-most frames that are 
interrupted by the stern knee, each frame is one long thin piece of wood that has been 
curved into a wide U shape, attached to the hull using short nails. Further, on top of 
every second floor (with the exception of the first 2 at the stern), a rider beam was 
attached to provide support for a deck. Triangular wedges removed from the bottom 
edge of the riders served as limber holes, designed to channel bilge water to the stern 
for later draining. Longitudinal stringers attached to the futtocks on both sides extend 
from the stern quarters to under the foredeck, stopping at 2 riders attached to futtocks. 
Attached to the aft face of the futtock riders, an athwartships brace extends from port to 
starboard; 2 thin stanchions connected to the brace serve as supports for the foredeck. 
With the exception of the construction details previously described as attached by bolts 
or slot-head screws, the vessel is held together with small nails. At the bow, a double 
row of nails attach the strakes to the stempost and at the stern, double rows of nails 
attach the strakes to the edge of the transom. Little paint survives on the outer hull, but 
traces of white primer are extant, as well as mustard yellow and dark green paint. The 



17 


green paint primarily appears at the bow and transom under the waterline; the yellow 
paint is found higher on the bow and transom up the tumblehome, and on the hull’s 
sides. 



Historic early-1930s photographs of finished products of the Indian Trading Post Boat 
Works indicate slight design differences when compared to the IOMB, some of them 
apparently related to the vessel’s size. Images of rowboats, lighter vessels with less 
freeboard, have bench seats incorporated into their construction. There are no 
indications of benches or other seating evident in the IOMB, nor is there evidence of a 
deck that would have rested on the floor riders. However, for the IOMB to function as a 
guide and towboat for the Mille Lacs Indian Trading Post tourist fishing enterprise, a 
personal watercraft, or as a US Forestry Service vessel, it must have had benches or 
seats of an undetermined design. Further, the steering mechanism has not survived in 
the IOMB, and no pictorial evidence of the gear has been located. Outboard motors in 
the 1930s were primarily directly steered using attached tillers. However, remote 
steering using cables and a steering wheel was possible, but the system cannot be 
determined with the surviving evidence. Images of ITPBW vessels that appear to be 
similar in size and design to the IOMB differ in superficial details, such as the presence 
of aft splashrails that were never incorporated into the construction of the IOMB. 
Further, the IOMB coaming and accompanying caprail may have extended around the 
entirety of the vessel’s cockpit when it was constructed, but did not survive, thus making 
the futtock ends visible at the gunwale. A wreck similar to the IOMB has been identified 
on the bottom of Lake Minnetonka. The Wooden Outboard Utility Wreck (21-HE-491) is 
14.00 feet long, 3.90 feet in the beam, and 3.60 feet at the square stern with a slightly 
cambered foredeck. The differences between the IOMB and 21-HE-491 - beyond their 
sizes - are the athwartships planking of the foredeck, the wide caprail from the bow to 
the stern on both sides boat, and splashrails that extend along the entirety of the outer 
hull from bow to stern on port and starboard (Merriman and Olson 2016, 15-17). 


18 



The Wooden 
Outboard Utility 
Wreck (21-HE-491) 
on the bottom of 
Lake Minnetonka 
(Kelly Nehowig). 





19 



(MNHS HE5.4p54, HE5.4p59, HE5.4r15, HE5.4M4, digitized by MHM) 

The Indian Trading Post Outboard Motor Boat is in stable condition and its continued 
health is dependent on a stable environment with an appropriate humidity level. The 
obvious checking along the boat’s rubrail and gunwale is a clear indicator of 
inappropriate storage for decades in the past. The port side hull damage, while 
appearing rather drastic, is not currently having an adverse affect on the boat; no stress 
is being applied to the area, nor is the boat’s own weight affecting stability at that point. 
On the whole, the vessel as it is currently stored with support to the bottom of the hull, is 
sufficient to sustain the watercraft’s current condition. 




MHM’s 3D scans of the Indian 
Trading Post Boat Works Outboard 
Motor Boat. The scanning process 
included several scans saved as 
separate files. Because of the 
vagaries in lighting, the color 
version of the scanned images 
appears like a patchwork (left). 


20 





21 


Joseph Dingle Boat Works Outboard Motor Boat (2004.82. 1.A-F) 

Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Ramsey County 

History 

MHM first learned of the Joseph Dingle Boat Works Outboard Motor Boat (DOMB) when 
visiting the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) warehouse in January 2014. 5 Joseph 
Dingle founded the Joseph Dingle Boat Works in 1880. However, Dingle was already 
“quite well known as a boat builder, and has built row and sail boats for most of the lake 
resorts of Minnesota. One of his recent orders was for a row boat for Hon. C. F. 
McDonald, of St. Cloud” by March of that year. A large 1879 advertisement supports the 
contention that Dingle was a boat-builder prior to the recognized establishment of the 
firm in 1880: Dingle manufactured “pleasure boats, sail yachts, hunting boats and 
catamarans. Oars and boat fixtures always on hand. Repairing neatly and promptly 
done”. The Boat Works was located at 421 Clinton Avenue. The Dingle family resided at 
121 Isabel Street East - and conducted company paperwork in the home - just to the 
south of the workshop in West St. Paul. Today that intersection is in St. Paul proper. 
The house was situated on the eastern portions of lots 6 and 7 in section 37 and the 
Boat Works occupied the eastern portion of lot 8 on Clinton Avenue. St. Paul Fire 
Station No. 6 (1884-1965) was also located in section 37 next to the Boat Works, with 
an address of 126 Delos Street East (Legeros 2013; Polk and Weeks 1879, xvi, 167, 
498; Sanborn Map Company 1904, 619; St. Paul Daily Globe 1880, 1885a-b). 



The location of the Joseph Dingle Boat Works on Clinton Avenue between Isabel and Delos Streets 
(Sanborn Map Company 1904, 620) and an early company advertisement (Polk and Weeks 1879, xvi). 


5 MHM was at the MNHS to document and take a wood sample from a dugout canoe for the Minnesota Dugout Canoe Project. 




22 


Insight into the workings of the Joseph Dingle Boat Works is found in several historical 
sources during the late 19 th into the first half of the 20 th Century. In 1895, the ‘family 
business’ nature of the factory is evident since Joseph, along with two of his sons Albert 
and Fred, were engaged in boat building for the company. In 1904, the Dingle factory 
advertised to hire “Boat Carpenters at Once; first-class wages” to assist the family of 
boatwrights. In 1905, Joseph and sons Albert, Fred, John, and Harry worked in the 
factory while son John worked as the Boat Works’ clerk. Further, in 1914, six of Dingle’s 
sons worked for the firm: Charles (foreman), Fred (manager), Harry (builder), John 
(salesman), Richard (builder), and Roy (builder). 6 Additionally, Otto H. Halbe built boats 
for Dingle that year. Also in 1914, Fred - “better known as Dingle Dongle Dingle” in the 
“Men We All Know” column of Power Boating magazine - represented the Boat Works 
during an inspection of the Loew-Victor Engine Company in Chicago. By 1920, another 
aspect of the Joseph Dingle Boat Works business was its qualification as the only 
Evinrude detachable motor service station in Minnesota; with the early popularity of 
small Evinrude outboard motors, this service was valuable to small boat owners in the 
state. Also in 1920, Fred Dingle’s attendance at New York’s 16 th Motor Boat Show as 
part of the St. Paul Motor Boat Club’s delegation was noted, as the group perused new 
offerings for the next boating season. The reputation and influence of the Boat Works 
and the Dingle Family boatwrights was evident when the Sterling Engine Company 
associated the company with significant North American building firms in a 1923 ad, 
among them: Herreshoff Boat Works of Bristol, Rl, George Lawley and Son of Boston, 
Albany Boat Corporation of Waterliet, NY, Red Bank Yacht Works, Red Bank, NJ, and 
Ditchburn Boats, Muskoka, Ontario (Judson, Jr. 1920, 20; Minneapolis Journal 1904a; 
Minnesota, Ramsey County 1895, 268, 1905, Sheet 32; Motor Boat 1920, 42; Motor 
Boating 1923, 133; Polk 1914, 542, 750; Power Boating 1914, 82). 

Throughout the 1880s, Joseph Dingle and his company’s daily operation and 
accomplishments are chronicled through historical documents. In late April 1881, 
“Amphibious Globe Reporters” told the story of a Mississippi River flood and with it, high 
winds that threatened the city. It was reported “Yesterday morning the chief of police 
took possession of half a dozen boats belonging to Joseph Dingle, and placed them at 
the disposal of the police patrol. They proved to be of great service during the day.” The 
City of St. Paul reimbursed the Boat Works $280.00 (Order 12317) for using the boats 
in what was termed “6 th Ward Relief. On White Bear Lake, “Mr. Dingle’s boats are well 
managed and the fishing on the Mahtomedi side, on account of the depth of water, is 
the best in the lake” (City Comptroller 1886; St. Paul Daily Globe 1881, 1883). These 
insights into Joseph Dingle’s business - apparently he kept an inventory of boats in St. 
Paul and on White Bear Lake (for rental) in the early 1880s - were previously unknown 
and add an interesting facet into the workings of Dingle’s company. 

In mid-March 1884, the workshop was described as “a one and a half story frame 
building, owned and occupied by Jos. Dingle, as a place where he made boats”. A 
portion of the Boat Works building and “some fine lumber, suitable for boats, was 
partially destroyed” in a fire. The insured monetary loss was $250, with Dingle’s 
assurances that “he will go right on with his business of boat building the same as 
though no fire had occurred, that all his orders will be promptly filled, and all new 


^Joseph and Elizabeth Dingle had 15 children, three of whom died before age 3, three of whom died aged 21-26, and one who 
died at age 36; outlived by both their parents (Ancestry.com). 


23 


business will have prompt attention”. The St. Paul Fire Commissioner’s report stated 
that “children playing with stove” caused the fire. MHM suggests the damage was 
minimal due to the proximity of Engine Company No. 6 next door to the Boat Works. 
The fire damage may have prompted Dingle to make construction alterations to the 
Boat Works building at a cost of $500 by the end of 1884 In 1888, Dingle participated in 
the 3 rd annual St. Paul Winter Carnival, where “a beautiful sailing yacht, with canvas 
spread, bore the name of J. Dingle, the boat builder” in the Industrial Parade. In June 
1893, the Boat Works participated in another parade that showcased St. Paul 
businesses, comprised of manufacturers, jobbers, and retailers divisions. The 3-day 
celebration centered on honoring J.J. Hill to commemorate the completion of the 
transcontinental Great Northern Railway line to Washington (St. Paul Daily Globe 
1884a,c, 1885a, 1888a, 1893b). 



Inside the Joseph Dingle Boat Works factory. The date applied to the image is 1920. However, it may 
be the interior of the airport facility at a later date (MNHS HE5.4p1 , digitized by MHM). 

Joseph Dingle’s influence on sailboat design, construction, and racing on White Bear 
Lake in the 1880s to after 1900 is evidenced by the number of boats - found in the 
historical record - built by the firm during this period. Among them are: Catamaran 
(1884, owned by Dingle), Manitou (1889), Nushka (1889), Merry Monarch (1891), 
Albatross (1892), Galatea (1892), Secret (1892), Sinbad (1892), WhaleA/alkyrie (1892), 
Columbia (1893, owned by Dingle), Nancy Ruth (<1 893), Britannia (1894), Katie D 
(1894), Banshee (1895), Esmeralda (1895), Petrel (1895), and Gamma (1904). These 
boats were primarily connected with members of the White Bear Yacht Club. On Lake 
Minnetonka, Joseph Dingle Boat Works sailboats Gusty Glider (1889) and Elizabeth 
(1890) were constructed for the same costumer. 7 The designs of successive Dingle 
sloops were surpassing each other during White Bear regattas. Regarding Columbia, it 
was reported “Joseph Dingle has put a new sloop on the lake. It is built on somewhat 


7 See the chart on pages 36-49 for specifics on the individual Dingle Boats. 


24 


different lines from any of the other yachts. ..is riding at Ramaley’s mooring. She is built 
with a sharply rising bow and a great forward over-hang. The builder’s idea seems to be 
to have her go over the water rather than through it.” Sometimes Joseph was part of 
Columbia’s crew under Captain Gene Ramaley. When Dingle’s newly-launched sloop 
Katie D beat his older Nushka and Columbia by over 5 minutes, “Dingle kissed and 
hugged the jib with joy when she came in” (St. Paul Daily Globe 1893d,e, 1894e). 

By later summer 1895, Joseph Dingle was characterized as one of the “old and well- 
known boat builders” in Twin Cities yacht racing circles. In the new century, the Boat 
Works took contracts from the City of St. Paul’s Park Board and Board of Water 
Commissioners, and Ramsey County, to build boats and supply gear such as oars and 
oar locks. In July 1900, the Boat Works furnished 5 cedar-planked row boats with 
oarlocks to the Park Board for $168.75 - $33.75 for each boat through the Board of 
Park Commissioners (Warrant 2851). Another order, delivered in early June 1901, was 
comprised of 40 Dingle cedar planked rowboats at a price of $28 per vessel ($1,120.00, 
Warrant 2940). MHM suggests the decreased price per boat might reflect the lack of 
metal oarlocks in the big order - or a bulk order discount. These 45 boats replaced 30 
‘old’ row boats, mostly built in 1894, deemed “unfit for further service” at 7 years of age. 
Further, Dingle submitted two estimates “for building, equipping and furnishing an 
electric launch [Warrant 2879] for Lake Como” (City of St. Paul 1902, 432-433, 436, 
898-899, 902; St. Paul Daily Globe 1895c; St. Paul Globe 1900a-b). The firm delivered 
the electric vessel in the summer 1900 for $1,000, with payment deferred until 1901. 8 

In the early morning of April 27, 1902, the Joseph Dingle Boat Works was substantially 
damaged by fire. St. Paul Fire Station 6, next door to the boat factory, responded 
quickly - as the firefighters had done in 1884. The factory was described as a “three- 
story building. The lower floor, known as the boat repository, was well filled with 
launches and small row boats. These, with one or two exceptions, were protected by 
the salvage corps. A launch belonging to F. B. Doran was among the boats saved. ..The 
entire loss is estimated at $3,000 and is covered by insurance. The loss to the building 
is placed at $1,000. Another $1,000 will cover the cedar lumber destroyed and a third 
$1,000 is the figure placed on the damaged boats. The origin of the fire is unknown”. 
Frank B. Doran was the former mayor of St. Paul, and other large launches were also 
saved from the fire, including Grace (ordered by George Gillette of the Gillette-Herzog 
Manufacturing Company for Lake Minnetonka), Absaraka (ordered by Peter Lees of the 
American Bridge Company), and a boat associated with the Norberg Brewing Company. 
Remarkably, the Moore Boat Works in Wayzata experienced a large loss due to fire in 
mid-February 1902, just over 2 months before the Dingle fire 9 (McGinnis 2010, 96; 
Minneapolis Journal 1902d; Minneapolis Tribune 1902a; St. Paul Globe 1902). 

MHM contends the Dingle factory did not recover quickly enough from the fire to fulfill 
small boat construction orders for the City of St. Paul in 1902, but the Boat Works 


8 lt is noteworthy that the Lake Como electric launch constructed by the Joseph Dingle Boat Works carried 4,289 people around 
the lake during the 1901 season, May 1 -October 1, charging 10 cents per person (Board of Park Commissioners 1902, 25; St. Paul 
Globe 1900a). 

9 Moore Boat Works lost 80 row boats, most of them on order for the Twin City Rapid Transit Company, and a large warehouse 
- valued at $7,000. However, the company’s other buildings - and private houses - did not burn, and 4 large launches were saved 
from damage including Tanager and Widgeon, and 10 row boats and sailboats were saved (McGinnis 2010, 240, 270; Minneapolis 
Journal 1902a). 



25 


completed large launches - Grace (1902) and Absaraka (1902) 10 - and returned to 
capacity in 1903. As part of the recovery, the Boat Works began construction of fast 
racing auto boats, several vessels that won contests on Lake Minnetonka, in Duluth, 
and other places. These watercraft include Buster Boy (1904), Bisbee (1905), Janes 
Power Boat (1905), Westman (1905), White (1905), North Butte (1906), Globe 
Consolidated (1907), Fritz (1908), Dick Six (1909), Dingle-Capitol (1909), Jeannette 
(1909), Pine Cone (1909), Sea Breeze (1909), Finola (<1 91 0), Panama (1915), Dolly 
Dingle (1916), Ace (1920), Hortense (-1920), and Northwind (-1920). These fast boats 
were long and heavy, upwards of 40.00+ feet, with large and powerful engines. * 11 

One maritime historical link between Fred Dingle and Gar Wood - famed boat racing 
pioneer, boat builder and designer, inventor, and businessman - is linked to the 
construction of fast auto boats. Wood grew up in northern Minnesota, including Duluth 
from ages 10-28. Gar became involved with boats and boating and worked for Richard 
Schell, owner of many Dingle boats including Bisbee, North Butte, Globe Consolidated, 
Fritz, Dick Six, and Dingle-Capitol. In a 1935 interview, Wood described his discovery of 
fast Dingle boats and his pursuit of a friendship with Fred Dingle after Wood moved to 
St. Paul. In 1905 during trials of Schell’s Bisbee on Lake Minnetonka, Dingle, Wood, 
Schell, and pilot Mattson of Globe Iron Works were pictured in the boat - a rare image 
of 3 significant figures in Minnesota maritime and boat-building history (Desmond 2004, 
2; Fishman 1989, 41; Minneapolis Journal 1905b). 



ON BOAED THE BISBEE. 

Those in the Boat Are Richard Scholl, the Owner; 
Max Matteion, Who Held the Wheel; Wood 
of Duluth, Who Ran tho Engine; Dingle, Who 
Built the Hull. 




Designers and Builders 

OF Ml KINDS OF 

Pleasure Craft 


IJ< 

iseph Dingle Boat Wort 

IS 


ESTABLISHED I8B0 

421 Clinton Avenue 

SI. Paul, Minn. 

T 

Up-lo-Date Runabouts a Specialty 




Left: Fred Dingle, GarWood, Richard Schell, and Mattson on Lake Minnetonka in Bisbee ( Minneapolis 

Journal 1905b). 

Right: Brochure, roughly 1920 (Joseph Dingle Boat Works, MHM Collection, digitized by MHM). 


10 See the chart on pages 36-49 for specifics on the individual Dingle Boats. 

11 Ibid. 


26 


The Joseph Dingle Boat Works continued to provide boats and boat gear to the Park 
Board in 1903 and over the next 25 years, including a row boat with oars (Order 13681 , 
July 9, 1903, $33.50); oar locks (Order 3602, December 1, 1903, $2.50); launch 
steering wheel (Voucher 15062, June 1905, $4.50); boat (Voucher 15694, May 1906, 
$35.00); 50 row boats (Order 4208, June 1906, $1,400); 50 row boats (Order 4526, May 
1907, $1,400); boat fittings (Voucher 16931, November 1907, $5.25); oar locks (Order 
4777, July 17, 1907, $2.40); 50 row boats (Order 5169, June 7, 1909, $1,400.00); row 
boats and launch cover (Voucher 1478, September 1909, $86.10); 30 row boats (Order 
5548, June 1910, $840.00); and 50 wooden row boats (Order 6045, July 3, 1911, 
$1,400). In 1915, the Water Department Fund spent $99.75 and the Parks Department 
spent $49.50 on unknown goods or services from Dingle, and Ramsey County 
purchased oars (Order 365731, $7.50) and a pulley and cleat (Order 366939, $3.20) 
from Dingle in 1928 (Board of Park Commissioners 1905, 66, 1907, 61, 1908, 65, 1909, 
44, 1910, 1911, 78-79, 1912, 14, 37, 43; Board of Water Commissioners 1906, 39, 
1907, 39, 1908, 49 1910, 48; City Comptroller 1904, 250; City of St. Paul 1915, 967, 
1027; Ramsey County 1928, 41, 92). 


w« c * rry in 8tocv a f* 1 " r: 

row Boats. Hunting Boats. Oars and Boat 
Supplies 

Our Family Ro* BoU is conceded to 

be one o, the safe* and easiest rowmg 
boats built. 

buying a "Oingl." B “ l our 
Comers have the benefit of years e»- 
perience. 

Before purchasing a Motor Boat or 
Row Boat, give us a chance to figure with 

you. 



ROW BOATS, HUNTING BOATS AND CANOES 


Get Our 


prices and Specifications 


Estimates gladly furnished on all kinds 

of boat work. 


Brochure pages 
(Joseph Dingle Boat 
Works, MHM 
Collection, digitized 
by MHM). 

Dingle Advertisement 
(St. Paul Daily Globe 
1888 b). 


AI1 Kinds of p' ~ 

**»*i<ll Av , 

***Mr»ii . 


154 FOOT BOAT, $25! 



JOSEPH DIN6LE, - BOAT BUILDER, 

Ccr. Isabel and Clinton. West St. Paul, 
One block from street cars. 


f ,., . ‘ 

" ;to f 

n °r>- 

f. 

nnh «‘ „ r . 

W * h «*Po»" 

hstaJi 

wh ^^Z^^ fmotor 

Pr ‘ce 8 0 f d 

fo mate r y , ^ ^ >n Pri „ 
fin/sb. a s used i „ *• accord. 

con sfrucii on ^ 



27 


A group of Dingle boats constructed for the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for 
the Rock Island, IL District - later the St. Paul District - are 35-foot long screw launches 
and are found in government records. These vessels include Hiawatha (1912), 
Minnehaha (1912), Quincy (1912), Chippewa (1913), Galena (1913), Minneiska (1913), 
Trimbelle (1913), and Zumbro (1913). The Nodin (1915), Chippewa (1935), and St. 
Croix (1935) were slightly smaller than the earlier launches. These launches were 
designed to carry soft Kenyon tops, often made of leather, on metal frames that could 
be raised or lowered; the modern equivalent is a bimini top. Moving on from the early 
auto boats, Dingle constructed triple cockpit runabout Gerry Lo in 1929 for Frank W. 
Griswold, founder of the Griswold Safety Signal Company for the astounding amount of 
$25,000. Griswold and his company were known for designing and developing railroad 
crossing signals and traffic signs. Griswold acquired several patents for his inventions 
starting with the “Bobby” signal, in addition to a rotating stop sign designed for either the 
middle of the road or roadside at railroad crossings. Gerry Lo was launched at Lake 
Minnetonka in 1929 and in the same boathouse until 1992, when she was sold after 
Griswold’s death. Labeled “the most famous runabout ever built in the state of 
Minnesota”, she was sold at auction in October 2010 for $285,000 (Mecum Auctions 
2010a, 64-67, 2010b, 4-5; Railway Signaling and Communications 1927, 121-122). 12 



UFI-yjJJJ u-Bool* 

Built In D,N , o( ro( ntM. I 

for *h line* 

in*. Roomy. . 

l 

material*. i 

llnUh And don* I 
mu*«>r*nce chc»P cr 


[0 sx.vo)^M^- 


J&* (Bioat 

c.st.i8 B0 




A Joseph Dingle Boat Works advertisement 
showcasing a runabout. 


In mid-February 1931, St. Paul’s Department of Public Works granted “Joseph Dingle 
Boat Works permission to use a portion of the levee which lies between the easterly line 
of Dunwell & Spencer’s Addition and the westerly line of 2 nd Addition of Brooklynd 
Addition and the northerly right-of-way of the R. I. Ry. Co.”. Dingle required the levee 
use because of the Boat Works expansion in 1934 when Dingle constructed a new one- 
story 40 by 50-foot factory at 596 Texas Street. Regardless of the street address, this 
new building was known as ‘Dingle Boat Works, Mississippi River at Airport’; it was 
located at the northeast corner of the St. Paul Downtown Airport Holman Field 
(Commissioner of Public Works 1931, 38; Minnesota Resources Commission 1941, 
117; Steel 1934, 201). The Boat Works business office remained on Isabel Street. While 
Dingle was known to design and build larger vessels with substantial superstructures 
prior to the construction of the new facility - including the 55.00-foot long Albert Lea 
(1908), 33.00-foot long Roamer, 42.00-foot long Calista (1920-1925), and particularly 


12 See the chart on pages 36-49 for specifics on the individual Dingle Boats. 



28 


the 120.00-foot North Star (1922) 13 - the proximity of the Texas Street factory to the 
river, and the addition of marine railways, allowed efficient launching of larger boats. 
Further, docks supplied ‘on-the-water storage’ where the boats could be fitted out while 
floating, freeing-up factory space to be used for more boatbuilding. 



Above: A 1916 plat map of St. 

Paul south of the river. The 
regular planned streets have 
never followed this plan. The 
location of Dingle’s factory at 
596 Texas Street is marked in 
red (Hopkins 1916, 13). 


Right: This 1937 aerial image 
records the Dingle Boat Works, 
circled in red (John R. Borchert 
Map Library, 1937, 27 October). 


Exploiting the new, larger facility, in the 1930s the Boat Works took orders for larger 
houseboats and cabin cruisers, boats not meant for racing or maximized speed. These 
craft include EllenRuth (1933), a Houseboat (1933), Mayo Family Cruiser (1935), 
Glengarry (1936), and the Cushner Houseboat (1937). During World War II, the Joseph 
Dingle Boat Works constructed the SC-497 Class Submarine Chasers SC-1000, SC- 


13 Dr. Will Mayo commissioned Dingle to construct the large motor yacht North Star, she took 15 men working 8 months to 
complete, and a purpose-built building was constructed in St. Paul to accommodate the build. See the chart on pages 36-49 for 
specifics on the individual Dingle Boats. 


29 


1001, and SC-1002 14 using specifications supplied by the US Navy. The subchaser- 
building program was designed to produce 438 wooden boats from 45 smaller boat- 
building firms around the nation, leaving steel for warship fabrication and warship 
construction to very large shipyards. The launchings of SC-1000 and SC-1002 into the 
Mississippi River in late October 1942 and early April 1943 were noteworthy. “The first 
combat vessel of the war to be built in the Twin City area was launched at the Dingle 
boat works here today... 12-year old Patricia Ann Towle smashed a bottle of soda water 
against the bow” and “the third sub chaser built in St. Paul goes down the ways at the 
Dingle boat works today when Delores Becker, daughter of Michael Becker, foreman at 
the plant, christens the ship. The Diesel-powered 110-foot S. C. 1001 is a sister ship to 
sub chasers launched in October and November. It is equipped with depth charges”. 
Lastly, Dingle constructed the towboat Cartasca [Cargill and Itasca] for Cargill, 
launching the vessel in September 1944. Cargill family members John Cargill, Jr., 
Cargill MacMillan, and Austen Cargill cruised down the Mississippi River in November, 
after Cartasca’s complete out-fitting. Cartasca moved barges of grain from Port Cargill 
in Savage on the Minnesota River to points on the Mississippi River. In December 1945 
the towboat sank during the process of getting her prepared for winter storage, and was 
raised during warmer weather ( Brainerd Daily Dispatch 1945; Broehl 1992, 670; 
Evening Tribune 1942; Moorhead Daily News 1942, 1943; Republican Herald 1951; 
Sables 2005). 15 



This 1945 aerial image records the Dingle Boat Works, in the red square, just prior to its sale to the 
Midway Lumber Company. Marine railways and docks are clearly seen, with vessels moored (John R. 

Borchert Map Library, 1945). 


14 See the chart on pages 36-49 for specifics on the individual Dingle Boats. 
15 lbid. 




30 


By 1946, George Towle (probably Patricia Ann’s father) either owned the Joseph Dingle 
Boat Works or was the manager of the firm. Later that year, in early May 1946, the 
Minneapolis Dredging Company purchased Dingle’s airport facilities and subsequently 
leased the property to the Twin City Barge and Towing Company. However, the Dingle 
Boat Works (not the Joseph Dingle Boat Works) existed as a subsidiary of the Midway 
Lumber Company at 630 North Prior Avenue in St. Paul until 1949 ( Marine News 1946, 
113; Minnesota Resources Commission 1946, 316; Research Division 1949, 185; The 
Rudder 1947, 46; Waterways Journal 1996, 42). 

Joseph Dingle Boat Works Outboard Motor Boat 

MHM documented the DOMB on February 17 and March 1, 8, and 10, 2017 at the 
MNHS warehouse. The DOMB’s wooden hull is 16.00 feet long, 4.00 feet in the beam, 
with a 15.00-inch depth of hold. The stem consists of a triangular outer stempost that is 
curved and attached to the keel. Large bolts driven through the outer stempost attach it 
to the inner stempost (not seen). The bolts go through a bronze keel strip that is 
attached to the stempost, keel, and lower transom at the stern, where it is attached with 
slot head screws. A Maxwell anchor roller with an anchor lock was attached to the bow 
but is now loose, although it is accompanying the craft. It is not original to the boat since 
it was manufactured in 1953 (Maxwell 1953). A black mushroom anchor accompanies 
the boat. A round hole bored through the stempost serves as a tow ring and mooring 
attachment. At the stern, the keel protrudes from the hull bottom and is rectangular in 
cross-section. The gunwale has no caprail and a foredeck covers the gunwale at the 
bow. The aft edge of the foredeck is shaped by coaming that extends about 12 inches 
along each side of the boat and is attached to the inside of the gunwale. Futtocks are 
visible between the narrow beams that comprise the gunwale along the aft 3/4 of the 
vessel; the outer beam acts as a rubrail. 

The Joseph Dingle Boat Works Outboard Motor Boat (MHM) 




31 



Maxwell 
Anchor Roller 
and 

Mushroom 

Anchor 


Above: The bow and 
foredeck of the Dingle 
boat, looking aft. 


Right: The forward 
bench and foredeck of 
the Dingle boat, looing 
forward. Note the 
longitudinal stringers and 
keelson. 


The hull is clinker-built (lapstrake), has a wide flat bottom, and the aft section of the boat 
has minor tumblehome where the hull narrows from the waterline to the gunwale. The 
transom rakes slightly aft and is comprised of 2 wide planks; the gunwale edge of the 
top plank rounded port and starboard, and flat amidships - designed to take an 
outboard motor. The transom plate is actually 6 vertical planks that enhances the 
transom’s strength when the motor is on the boat, attached to the inner transom face. 



32 


Inside the hull at the transom, a centerline knee is attached to the boat’s bottom and 
adds strength to the stern. Two horizontal knees on the port and starboard quarters 
inside the gunwale also add stability and strength. The DOMB has thin frames attached 
to the inner hull, providing rigidity to the vessel. As best as MHM can discern, each 
frame is one long thin piece of wood that has been curved into a wide U shape. A wide 
keelson rests on top of the keel and 8 stringers are attached to the top of the floors, 4 
on port and 4 on starboard. The 2 stringers furthest to port and starboard are shorter 
than the other 6, stopping forward of amidships. 




Above: Transom 
stern 




Above: The composite 
transom plate and 
gunwale level stern knees 


Left: Longitudinal stringers 
and keelson with a foot 
brace chock and foot rest 


Longitudinal stringers are attached to the futtocks on both sides extending from the 
stern quarters to the bow. Benches rest on the longitudinal stringers from amidships to 
the stern along the vessel’s sides, widening across the boat at the stern to provide a 
wide bench for the boat’s operator. The stern bench is comprised of several wooden 
pieces supported by 2 athwartships riders sitting on top of floors; the forward rider is 
actually a bulwark that creates an enclosed stern area. A removable seat back 





33 


comprised of 2 wooden slats attached to vertical posts slots into rectangular cuts in the 
decking and leans against an athwartships beam attached to the gunwale on port and 
starboard. Behind the seat back, removable decking - comprised of wood sections - 
allows access to the fuel tank that is no longer extant. A gap between two of the 
removable deck sections exists to allow a fuel line to run from the outboard motor to the 
fuel tank, as well as access to the steering cables. 



An athwartships amidships bench is attached to the forward edge of the side benches 
that are attached to the vessels sides with metal braces. Another bench is located 
forward, resting on the longitudinal stringers like the other athwartships and side 
benches. Four metal oarlocks, 2 on each side, are attached to the gunwale amidships 
aft of the athwartships benches, indicating where rowers should sit. Two mismatched 
oars, one with copper applied to the tip of the blade, a wooden boat hook with a metal 
end, and a carved wooden flag mast are associated with the watercraft. 16 Additionally, 
two wooden chocks attached to the boat’s keelson serve as the rower’s foot braces. 
Forward of each chock, removable flat platforms serve as foot rests for the rowers feet; 
an additional forward foot rest is located under the foredeck for a front bench 
passenger’s feet. The watercraft is held together with slot head screws and short nails, 


16 MHM suggests one of the oars and the mast were not donated to the MNHS with the Dingle boat but are now erroneously 
associated with it. 






34 


the hull is painted white, and the foredeck and coaming are unpainted. The unpainted 
top strake on both port and starboard has the outlines of the numbers and letters that 
comprise the boat’s registration number - WS 5736 EG. 



The vital statistics linked to Wisconsin registration number 5736 EG indicates it was last 
licensed by Lucille Moeller in 1989 and the wooden boat is 16.00 feet long (Wisconsin 
DNR, personal communication, March 6, 2017). The history attached to the DOMB 
indicates that Fred Dingle gifted the boat to his good friend Bud Moeller in the early 
1930s. Moeller left instructions with his wife Lucille to pass the DOMB to Captain 
William D. Bowell after his death. Therefore, the DOMB became the property of Bowell 
sometime around 1989 and he donated the boat to the MNHS in 2004. The ‘Jos. Dingle 
Boat Works’ name plate was removed from the DOMB by Bowell; he stored it in a 
tobacco can marked with the initials “F.D.”. The can was a Christmas gift to Fred from 
Bud in 1927 (Bowell 2004). Captain Bowell was the founder of St. Paul’s Padelford 
Riverboat Company. The DOMB is stable and in fantastic condition. MHM suggests the 
boat remain on its keel, the bottom supported in its entirety to prevent hogging and 
sagging. 



35 



MHM’s 3D scans of the Joseph Dingle 
Boat Works Outboard Motor Boat. The 
scanning process included several scans 
saved as separate files. Because of the 
vagaries in lighting, the color version of 
the scanned images appears like a 
patchwork (right and below). 


f 



36 


A List of Joseph Dingle Boat Works Vessels 


Name 

Type 

Material 

Built 

Length 

Beam 

Depth 

Propulsion 


Joseph Dingle 
Boat Works 
Outboard 
Motor Boat 

Outboard 

Motor 

Launch 

Wood 

1910s- 

Early 

1930s 

16.00’ 

4.00’ 

15.00” 

Outboard 

Motor/Oars 




Absaraka 

Launch 

Wood 

1902 




Gasoline 


Ace™ 

Limousine 

Runabout 

Wood 

1920 

33.00’ 

5.50’ 


Thoroughbred 

4 Cycle Type 

B Engine, 32- 
40 HP, Red 
Wing Boat 
Company 


Ace 

Motor Boating 1922, 18 




Albatross iy 

Catboat 

Wood 

1892 


Sail 


Albert Lea 20 

Raised Deck 
Cruiser 

Wood 

1908 

55.00’ 11.50’ 

Twin Screw 
Engines, 60 
HP 


Albert Lea 
Cole 1910, 378 



Banshee 


1 st Class 
Sloop 


Cedar 


1895 

29.00’ 




Sail 


Bickford Boat^ Catboat 


Wood 


1914 16.00’ 


Sail 


17 Minneapolis Journal 1902d. 

18 Motor Boating 1922,18; Pacific Motor Boat 1920, 36. 

19 Sf. Paul Daily Globe 1892b,g, 1892i, 1893g, 1894d. 

20 Evening Tribune. 11.16.1908; Cole 1910, 378, 380; Daily Gate City 1908; Motor Boat 1908, 58. 
21 St. Paul Daily Globe 1895a-b. 

22 Daily Missoulian 1914. 



37 


Name 


Type 


Material 


Built Length Beam Depth Propulsion 


Bisbee 


Power/Motor/ 
Auto Boat 


Wood 


Bisbee 

Minneapolis Journal 1905b 


1905 27.00’ 



i; s: •; 



4 Cylinder 
White 
Gasoline 
Engine, 20 
HP, Globe 
Iron Works, 
Minneapolis 


Britannia 


Sailboat 


Wood 


-1894 


Sail 


Buster Boy 25 


Power/Motor/ 
Auto Boat 


Wood 


1904 


Gasoline 
Engine, 20 
HP, Globe 
Iron Works, 



Calista 26 

Launch 

Oak 

1920- 

1925 

42.00’ 

10.67’ 


Grey Marine 
Engine, 85 

HP 


Cartasca 27 

Towboat 

Wood 

1944 

40.00’ 

33.00’ 

6.50’ 

8 Chrysler 
Marine 
Engines, 
1160 HP 


Cartasca 

Republican Herald 1951 



Catamaran 


Sailboat 


Wood 


<1884 


Sail 


Chippewa 29 

USACE 

Screw 

Launch 

Wood 

1913 

35.00’ 

5.67’ 

3.33’ 

4 Cylinder 
Capitol 
Engine, 40 
HP, Auto 
Engine 
Works, St. 
Paul 


Chippewa dU 

USACE 

Wood d 

1935 

34.00’ 



Motor 


23 McGinnis 2010, 21; Minneapolis Journal 1905a-b; Minneapolis Tribune 1905; Minnetonka Record 1905; Motor Age 1905, 19; 
Power Boat News 1 905b, 1 06. 

24 St. Paul Daily Globe 1894f. 

25 Power Boat News 1 905b; Minneapolis Journal 1 905b. 

26 Barron County Historical Society ND. 

27 Broehl 1992, 670. 

28 St. Paul Daily Globe 1 884b. 

29 USACE 1913, 3638, 1914, 4324-4326, 1917, 3928-3929. 

30 Waterways Journal 1975, 8. 




38 


Name Type Material Built Length Beam Depth Propulsion 


City of St. Paul 
Rowboats' 


31 


309+ 

Rowboats 

Wood 

-1894- 
1911 + 





Oars 


Row Boats on Lake Como 
MNHS-MR2.9SP4.1Clp7 
Digitized by MHM 









Columbia 

Sloop 

Wood 

1893 

30.00’ 

Sail 


Columbia 

St. Paul Daily Globe 1895b 



COLUMBIA. 



Como Park 
Launch 33 

Launch 

Wood 

1900 




Electric Motor 


Cushner 

Houseboat 34 

Houseboat 

Wood 

1937 

50.00 



Gasoline 


Cushner Houseboat 
Divine 2008 



31 See earlier section. 

32 St. Paul Daily Globe 1893d-h, 1894b, 1895a-b. 
33 Warrant 2879, 1902. 

34 Divine 2008. 


39 


Name 

Type 

Material 

Built Length Beam Depth Propulsion 


Dick Six 35 

Power/Motor/ 
Auto Boat 

Wood 

1909 

39.50’ 

5.33’ 


6 Cylinder 
Capitol 
Engine, 100 
HP, Auto 
Engine 
Works, St. 
Paul 


Dingle-Capitol 36 


Power/Motor/ 
Auto Boat 


Wood 


1909 


29.00’ 


5.00’ 


6 Cylinder 4 
Cycle Capitol 
Engine, 1,100 
RPM, Auto 
Engine 
Works, St. 
Paul 


Dingle-Capitol 
Power Boating 1910a, 53 




Dolly Dingle J ' 

Motor Boat 

Wood 

1916 

20.00 



Gasoline 


Elizabeth™ 

Catboat 

Wood 

1890 

20.25’ 

8.75’ 


Sail 









Twin 6 

Ellen Ruth 39 

Launch 

Cypress & Oak 

1933 

42.00’ 

10.00’ 


Cylinder 

Studebaker 








Engines 


EllenRuth 
City of Wahkon 


Ellen Ruth 

Mille Lacs Messenger 2013. 



35 Motor Boat 1 909a, 64. 

36 Cole 1910, 380; Motor Boat 1909b, 37, 1909c, 41; Power Boating 1910a, 54, 1910b, 350. 

37 Open Exhaust 1916, 10. 

38 McGinnis 2010, 63; Northwestern Tourist 1890; Minneapolis Times 1896; Mott 1894, 453. 

39 Jenkinson and Roberts 1985; Mille Lacs Messenger 1 933a-c, 1938; Paul Petty, personal communication, March 13, 2017. 


40 


Name 

Type 

Material 

Built 

Length 

Beam 

Depth 

Propulsion 


Esmeralda 4U 

Catboat 

Wood 

1895 




Sail 


Finola 41 

Power/Motor/ 
Auto Boat 

Wood 

<1910 




4 Cylinder 
Capitol 
Engine, Auto 
Engine 
Works, St. 
Paul 


Finola 

Cole 1910, 380. 



* ■ 



Fritz 42 

Power/Motor/ 
Auto Boat/ 
Runabout 

Wood 

<1908 




Motor 


Fritz 

Joseph Dingle Boat Works -1920. 
Brochure 
MHM Collection 
Digitized by MHM 



Galatea 


Catboat 


Wood 


1892 


Sail 


Galena 


USACE 

Screw 

Launch 


Wood 


1913 


35.00’ 


5.67’ 


3.33’ 


4 Cycle 
Reverse Gear 
Engine, 40 
HP, Auto 
Engine 
Works, St. 
Paul 


Game Warden 
Boat I 45 


Power Boat 


Wood 


1928 


26.00’ 


5.83’ 


Engines with 
Autopulse 
Gasoline 
Supply 
System 


40 St. Paul Daily Globe 1895a, 1895d-e. 

41 Cole 1910, 378, 380. 

42 Joseph Dingle Boat Works ND; Fishman 1989, 41. 

43 St. Paul Daily 1892b,d, 1893f-g. 

44 Rock Island Argus 1914.9.25; USACE 1914, 4345-4347, 1917, 3928-3929. 
44 Waterways Journal 1975, 8. 

45 Dillon 1928, 130. 


41 


Name 

Type 

Material 

Built 

Length 

Beam 

Depth 

Propulsion 


Game Warden 
Boat 2 46 

Power Boat 

Wood 

1928 

26.00’ 

5.83’ 


Engines with 
Autopulse 
Gasoline 
Supply 
System 


Gamma*' 

Sloop 

Wood 

1904 




Sail 


Gerry Lo 48 

Triple Cockpit 
Runabout 

Mahogany 

1929 

30.00’ 

7.08’ 


Curtiss D-12 
WWI Aircraft 
Engine 


Gerry Lo 

Mecum Auctions 2010, 64, 67. 



Glengarry 49 







Twin V-Drive 
Chrysler 

Houseboat 

Cypress & Oak 

1938 

48.83’ 

15.00’ 

4.80’ 

Crown 
Engines, 92 
HP 


Glengarry 

KSTP.com 



Globe 

Consolidated 50 


Power/Motor/ 
Auto Boat 

Wood 

1907 

39.92’ 

5.00’ 



6 Cylinder, 4 
Cycle Doman 
Marine 
Engine, 60 
HP 


46 Dillon 1928, 130. 

47 Minneapolis Journal 1904b; St. Paul Globe 1904a-b. 

48 Mecum Auctions 2010a, 64-67; Schley 2001, 18-23. 

49 Marjanian ND; Woodyboater 2013. 

50 Boating 1907b, 54; Fore ‘N’ Aft 1907a, 52; 1907b, 27; Motor Boat 1907b, 8. 



42 


Name 

Type 

Material 

Built 

Length 

Beam 

Depth 

Propulsion 


Grace 51 

Launch 

Wood 

1902 




Motor 


Gusty Glided 

Yacht 

Wood 

1889 

20.50’ 

9.00’ 


Sail 


Hiawatha 53 

USACE 

Screw 

Launch 

Cypress 

1912 

35.17’ 

6.21’ 

3.50’ 

4 Cylinder 
Engine, 35 
HP, Auto 
Engine 
Works, St. 
Paul 


Hortense 54 

Power/Motor/ 
Auto Boat/ 
Runabout 

Wood 

<1920 




Motor 


Hortense 

Joseph Dingle Boat Works -1920. 
Brochure 
MHM Collection 
Digitized by MHM 










Twin Sterling 

Houseboat 55 

Cruising 

Houseboat 

Wood 

1933 

125.00’ 

25.00’ 


Petrel 
Reduction 
Engines, 360 








HP 


Houseboat 
Motor Boating 1 933 
Back Cover 




Hydroplane 56 

Outboard 

Wood 

1916 

18.00’ 



5-10 HP 
Outboard 
Motor 


Hydroplane 

Open Exhaust 1917b, 22 



51 McGinnis 2010, 96; Minneapolis Journal 1902b-c; Minneapolis Tribune 1902b. 

“McGinnis 2010 97; Minneapolis Tribune 1889; Northwestern Tourist 1889. 

53 Rock Island Argus 1912; USACE 1913, 4234-4235, 1917, 3928-3929. 

54 Joseph Dingle Boat Works, ND. 

55 Motor Boating 1933, Back Cover. This boat may not have been constructed since Dingle listed 2 Sterling engines for sale - 
cheap - in the February 1934 issue of Motor Boating on page 301. 
x Open Exhaust 1917b, 22. 


43 


Name 

Type 

Material 

Built Length Beam Depth Propulsion 


Janes Power 
Boat 57 

Power/Motor/ 
Auto Boat/ 
Runabout 

Wood 

1905 




Motor 


Jeannette 58 

Power/Motor/ 
Auto Boat/ 
Runabout 

Mahogany 

1909 

42.00 

5.83’ 


6 Cylinder 
Capitol 
Engine, 100 
HP, Auto 
Engine 
Works, St. 
Paul 


Jeannette 

Cole 1910, 380 




Johnson 

Launch 59 

Launch 

Wood 

<1916 

28.00’ 



Motor 


Katie D bU 

Sloop 

Wood 

1894 




Sail 


Katie D 

St. Paul Daily Globe 1 894e 



THE KATIE D. 



Lapstrake 

Runabout 61 

Outboard 
Motor Boat 

Wood 

1920s- 

1930s 

16.00’ 



Modern 

Outboard 


Lapstrake Runabout 
Antique Boat America 



57 Power Boat News 1905b, 106. 

58 Cole 1910, 380-381; McGinnis 2010, 126; Minneapolis Tribune 1909. 

Will mar Tribune 1916. 

60 St. Paul Daily Globe 1894c-e. 

61 Antique Boat America Web Site. 


44 


Name 

Type 

Material 

Built Length Beam Depth Propulsion 


Manitou™ Catboat Wood ] 1889 25.00’ 9.50’ 

Sail 

Manitou 

St. Paul Daily Globe 1 894a 

if V\ 

/ ✓/ \ > 

/ to 

/. x 

| | 

\ 

MANITOU. 

i 

\ 

fj 

- ’Zm 



Mayo Family 
Boat 63 

Cabin Cruiser 

Wood 

1935 

36.00’ 



Red Wing 
Arrowhead 4 
Cycle Engine, 
25-45 HP, 
Red Wing 


Merry 
Monarch 64 

Catboat 

Wood 

1891 




Sail 


Minnehaha 65 

USACE 

Screw 

Launch 

Cypress 

1912 

35.17’ 

6.21’ 

3.50’ 

4 Cycle 
Capitol 

Engine, 36.50 
HP, Auto 
Engine 
Works, St. 
Paul 


Minneiska 66 

USACE 

Screw 

Launch 

Cypress 

1913 

35.17’ 

6.21’ 

3.50’ 

4 Cycle 
Capitol 
Engine, 35 
HP, Auto 
Engine 
Works, St. 
Paul 


Minnewaukan 67 

Launch 

Wood 

1908 




4 Cylinder 
Engine 


Nancy Ruth™ Catboat Wood <1893 Sail 


Nirvana by Sloop Wood 1895 23.00 Sail 


62 St. Paul Daily Globe 1890b-c, 1892c, 1893g. 

63 Motor Boating 1935, 93. 

64 St. Paul Daily Globe 1891a-c, 1892c. 

65 USACE 1913, 4248-4250, 1914, 4375-4377, 1917, 3928-3929. 
66 USACE 1914, 4375-4377, 1917, 3928-3929. 

67 Devils Lake Inter-Ocean <& Devils Lake Free Press, 1908. 

68 St. Paul Daily Globe 1893c,g. 


45 


Name 

Type 

Material 

Built Length Beam Depth Propulsion 



Nodin 70 


USACE 

Screw 

Launch 


Cedar 


1915 


30.25 


5.67’ 


2.83’ 


4 Cylinder 4 
Cycle L Head 
Capitol 
Engine, 20 
HP, Auto 
Engine 
Works, St. 
Paul 


North Butte 


Power/Motor/ 
Auto Boat 


Wood 


1906 


38.00’ 


5.00’ 


6 Cylinder, 4 
Cycle Doman 
Marine 
Engine, 30 
HP 


North Butte 
Boating 1907a, Cover 










Twin 8 

North Star 72 

Motor Yacht/ 
Houseboat 

Mahogany 

1922 

120.00’ 

23.00’ 


Cylinder 

Sterling 







Engines, 400 








HP 


North Star 
MNHS GV3.61r68 
Digitized by MHM 



69 St. Paul Daily Globe 1895e. 

70 USACE 1915, 4576-4578. 

71 Boating 1907a, Cover, 55; 1907b, 54; Fore ‘N’ Aft 1907a, 52; 1907b, 27; Motor Boat 1907a, 61, 1907b, 8. 

72 Bismarck Tribune 1922; Clark 1922, 25; Bureau of Navigation 1923, 248, 1936 921, 1070; Neuzil 2004, 14-15. 


46 


Name 

Type 

Material 

Built Length Beam Depth Propulsion 


North Wind 73 

Power/Motor/ 
Auto Boat 

Wood 

-1920 




Motor 


North Wind 

Courtesy of Steve Hack 





Nushka 74 

Catboat/ 

Sloop 

Wood 

<1889 




Sail 


Nushka 

St. Paul Daily Globe 1 892d 
MNHS GV3.61Sp125 
Digitized by MHM 




Panama 75 

Power/Motor/ 
Auto Boat 

Wood 

1915 




Gasoline 




Panama 

Power Boating 1916, 11 



Peterson 


Outboard Boat 76 Motor Boat 


Outboard 


Wood 


1914 16.00 


Evinrude 

Outboard 

Motor 


73 Steve Hack, personal communication, March 29, 2017. 

74 St. Paul Daily Globe 1889, 1890b-c, 1893g. 

75 Open Ex/?ausM 91 5a, 5-10, 1915b, 10, 1915c, 12, 1917a, 6, 1917b, 12; Power Boating 1916, 11. 
76 Daily Missoulian 1914. 



47 


Name 

Type 

Material 

Built 

Length 

Beam 

Depth 

Propulsion 


Petrel " 

Catboat 

Wood 

1895 




Sail 


Pine Cone 78 

Power/Motor/ 
Auto Boat 

Wood 

1909 

32.0073 

5.00’ 



30 HP Engine 



Roamer 79 


Roamer 
Miron 2007 


Sailboat 80 4 Oars Wood <1890 1 I I T Oars/Sail 


Salmon Lake 
Club Rowboat 

Rowboat 

Wood 

1914 

14.00 



Rowboat 

i 81 









Salmon Lake 
Club Rowboat 

Rowboat 

Wood 

1914 

16.00 



Rowboat 

282 









SC- 1000 83 







Twin 8-268A 
Engines, 

Subchaser 

Wood 

1942 

148.00’ 

17.00’ 

6.50’ 

1760 HP, 
General 
Motors 


SC-1001 84 







Twin 8-268A 
Engines, 

Subchaser 

Wood 

1942 

148.00’ 

17.00’ 

6.50’ 

1760 HP, 
General 
Motors 



77 St. Paul Daily Globe 1895a-b. 

78 Cole 1910, 381 ; Bemidji Daily Pioneer 1 909. 

79 *ln 1934 Joseph Dingle Boat Works was employed to install a new Universal 45 HP engine, replacing the original power 
plant. Dingle also replaced the original soft Kenyon Auto Top with another example with increased waterproofing. In turn, the 1934 
top was replaced by the current enclosed cabin in 2002 (Miron 2007). 

80 The ad offering this boat for sale listed it as a “a four-oared Dingle rowboat, with sail, to exchange for a light pony cart or 
buggy in god condition. For particulars address No. 5, Fort Snelling” (St. Paul Daily Globe 1890a). 

81 Daily Missoulian 1914. 

82 Daily Missoulian 1914. 

83 Naval History Division 1976, 735; NavSource Online. 

84 Naval History Division 1976, 735; NavSource Online. 


48 



85 Naval History Division 1976, 735; NavSource Online. 

86 Schletz Receipt from Joseph Dingle Boat Works, March 10, 1939, www.flicker.com. 

87 Cole 1910, 377; The Rudder 1909, 151. 

88 St. Paul Daily Globe 1892a,e. 

89 St. Paul Daily Globe 1892e, 1893a. 

90 Waterways Journal 1975, 8. 

91 Stewart River Boatworks Facebook page. The Boatworks was restoring the boat at the request of the State of Minnesota for 
Tettagouche State Park. 




49 


Name 

Type 

Material 

Built 

Length 

Beam 

Depth 

Propulsion 


USACE 

Trimbelle 92 Screw Wood 1913 35.00’ 

Launch 


Westman 
Engine, 25 
HP, 

Enterprise 

Machine 

Company, 

Minneapolis 


Whale/ 
Valkyrie 94 

Sloop 

Wood 

1892 




Sail 







6 Cylinder 
White Engine, 
80 HP, Globe 
Iron Works, 
Minneapolis 


White 

Ellis 1906, 31 


YMCA 

Centerboard 

Boat 96 

Row/Sail/ 

Motor 

Wood 

1916 




6 Oars/Sail/ 
Outboard 
Motor 


Zumbro 97 

USACE 

Screw 

Launch 

Wood 

1913 

35.00’ 

5.67’ 

3.33’ 

4 Cycle 
Capitol 
Engine, 40 

HP, Auto 
Engine 
Works, St. 
Paul 



White 


Power/Motor/ 
Auto Boat 


Wood 


1905 41.00’+ 


6 . 00 ’ 


Westman 


Power/Auto 

Boat 


Wood 


1905 


30.0073 

6 . 00 ’ 


5.00 


5.67’ 3.33’ 


4 Cycle 
Reverse 
Gear, 40 HP, 
Auto Engine 
Works, St. 
Paul 


92 USACE 1913, 3645, 3666, 4275-6276, 1914, 4417-4419. 

93 McGinnis 2010, 267; Motoring and Boating. 1905, 209; Power Boat News 1905b, 106. 

94 St. Paul Daily Globe 1 892f,h, 1 894d. 

95 McGinnis 2010, 267-268; Minneapolis Journal 1905c-f; Motoring and Boating 1905, 209; Power Boat News 1905a, 53. 
96 Grand Forks Daily Herald 1916. 

97 USACE 1913, 3646, 1914, 4426-4428, 1917, 3928-3929. 




50 


Cokato Boat Works Outboard Motor Boat 
Cokato Museum, Cokato, Wright County 

History 

MHM first learned of the Indian Cokato Boat Works (CBW) when visiting the Cokato 
Museum in December 201 3. 98 Gordon L. Mattson announced the establishment of the 
CBW in early April 1948, where he would be constructing “cedar strip boats in 12-foot, 
14-foot, and 16-foot sizes. A year later, with the help of brother Milton Mattson, CBW 
was busy making custom-built watercraft, ordered from people around Minnesota, Iowa, 
and the Dakotas. The vessels were constructed using ash, oak, and cedar. During 1949 
or 1950, the Mattson brothers erected a new Quonset building to house the Cokato 
Boat and Cabinet Works on land owned by their father, John Mattson, on Highway 12. 
Pictorial evidence of the inner workings of the CBW suggests the company produced 
boats for the Larson Boat Company of Little Falls and labeled them as Larson 
watercraft. Further, another CBW vessel named Squirt 3 that has survived was 
recognized in its registration information as a 1951 Larson (Cokato Enterprise 1948, 
1949; Cokato Museum; Gary Voggesser to Mike Worcester, personal communication, 
August 16, 2016). 



98 MHM was at the Cokato Museum to document and take a wood sample from a dugout canoe for the Minnesota Dugout 
Canoe Project. 


51 


MHM contends that the CBW took a contract from Larson to construct an unknown 
number of boats in 1950-1951, stemming from the complete destruction by fire of the 
Larson Boat Works in Little Falls on December 13, 1949. In 1948, Larson produced 
1,700 wooden boats and at the time of the fire, the company was still producing large 
numbers of wooden boats - their Falls Flyer, inboard utilities, and outboard fishing, duck 
boats, and pleasure craft among them. Subsidiary Larson Water Craft Company 
produced aluminum vessels in a separate factory and was unharmed. Larson lost 3 
buildings, 400 wooden boats, and many more were damaged in the fire that started in 
the wood sanding room. The fire spread quickly due to large amounts of flammable 
varnish, paint, and wood. It is unknown how many watercraft CBW may have built for 
Larson, but considering the CBW apparently only constructed about 40 watercraft, it 
could not have been a large number. The CBW was solvent at least through 1952, but 
by 1955, apparently the brothers were no longer producing boats. Instead, the Mattson 
brothers established the Mattson Building Company that specialized in constructing 
steel farm buildings and Quonset huts similar to the one that formerly housed the Boat 
Works. Hand-crafting small wooden cedar strip boats was labor-intensive and 
expensive, making them unprofitable when produced on a small scale. Only one other 
CBW watercraft is known to survive, beyond the Cokato Museum and Voggesser 
examples, owned by people in North Dakota (Brainerd Daily Dispatch 1949; Cokato 
Museum; Cokato Enterprise 1955a-b; Miller 2008; Research Division 1952, 10, 1955 
1 1 ; Sommers 2000, 21-30). 



Four wooden Larson boats in the Cokato Boat Works factory (Cokato Mueum). 




52 



Cokato Boat Works Outboard Motor Boat 

MHM documented the Cokato Boat Works Outboard Motor Boat (COMB) on February 1 
and 22, 2017 at the Cokato Museum. Bruce Reischl, a restorer of boats and outboard 
motors, came across the boat in 3 pieces - used as shelves - and acquired it. In 2007- 
2008, Mr. Reischl restored the boat and then contacted the Cokato Museum to inform 
the organization of its existence (Miller 2008), and in 2012 Mr. Reischl donated the 
COMB to the museum. The COMB’s wooden hull is 13.50 feet long and 14.00 feet long 
overall (including the bow roller and anchor lock), 4.50 feet in the beam, with a 17.00- 
inch depth of hold. The stem consists of a rectangular outer stempost that is curved and 
attached to the keel. Large bolts driven through the outer stempost attach it to the inner 
stempost (not seen). An anchor roller with an anchor lock is attached to a bow casting 
produced specifically for Cokato Boat Works. Joseph P. Fox’s anchor roller and lock 
patent labeled the mechanism as a ‘rope snubber’ (Fox 1943). A screw eye attached to 
the stempost and serves as a tow ring. At the stern, the keel s attached to the hull 
bottom and protrudes from it, square in cross-section. The gunwale has no caprail so 
the futtocks are visible between the narrow beams that comprise the gunwale; the outer 
beam acts as a rubrail. Splashrails run along the entire length of the COMB on port and 
starboard. The hull is comprised of thin cedar wood strip strakes joined end to end, 
making it carvel-built. The vessel has a wide flat bottom, and the aft section of the boat 
has slight tumblehome, where the hull narrows from the waterline to the gunwale. The 
square transom, designed to take an outboard motor, is comprised of 1 wide plank with 
a thin caprail; it has 2 metal carrying handles and red reflectors attached. The transom 




53 


plate, a rectangular metal piece that enhances the transom’s strength when the motor is 
on the boat, is attached to the inner transom face. 



Left: The Cokato Boat Works Outboard Motor Boat is three pieces at the beginning of the restoration 
process. Right: the reunited hull (Bruce Reichl, on file at the Cokato Museum). 



The Cokato Boat Works Outboard Motor Boat (MHM). 

Inside the hull at the transom, a centerline knee is attached to the boat’s bottom and 
adds strength to the stern. Two horizontal metal knees on the port and starboard 
quarters on top of the gunwale also add strength. The COMB has thin frames attached 
to the inner hull, providing rigidity to the vessel. Each frame is one long thin piece of 
wood that has been curved into a wide U shape. One short longitudinal stringer is 
attached to the hull bottom near the boat and 2 longitudinal stringers attached to the 
futtocks on both sides extending from the stern quarters to the bow. Four bench seats 
rest on the longitudinal stringer, 1 in the bow, 2 amidships, and 1 in the stern. The aft 
amidships bench also has metal brackets, port and starboard, as additional attachment 
points to the gunwale. There are 4 metal oarlocks, 2 on each side, aligned with the 2 



54 


amidships benches. The watercraft is primarily held together with small bronze nails 
enhanced by slot head screws and a few Phillips head screws in certain areas. The 
bottom of the hull to just after the turn of the bilge, under the splashrails, is painted dark 
green and the entire hull has a high varnish finish. 



The Cokato Boat Works Outboard Motor Boat (MHM). 

The current registration number painted on both sides of the bow is MN 0102 KH and it 
expired in 2013. This number in the “K” range is in a group of numbers reserved for 
vessels such as rowboats, canoes, and sailboats that can operate with motors, but have 
the options of oar or sail propulsion as well. The information in DNR records reflects the 
nature of the boat: “14’ Cokato 1950, made of wood, last registered 12/31/2013” (John 
Nordby, personal communication, March 6, 2017). However, this information is only 
partially correct, stemming from the fact that the boat was taken out of commission and 
cut into 3 pieces for a time. The original registration number for the COMB, shown in 
images taken during her restoration, was MN 1792 AC. This number was assigned to 
the boat in 1959, when the State of Minnesota first required motor boat registrations. 
The DNR information attached to this license number: “14’ Home 1952, last registered 
12/31/1994” (John Nordby, personal communication, March 6, 2017). This information is 
helpful, since it reveals that the owner of the COMB listed her as a ‘home build’ and not 
the CBW - regardless of the fact that “Cokato Boat Wks. Cokato, Minn.” is impressed 
into the bow casting - or did not think it was important. Whether the boat was 
constructed in 1950 or 1952 cannot be determined at this time. Lastly, Mr. Reischl’s fine 
restoration work can be discerned due to the use of wood of a lighter shade in those 
places where he combined the 3 hull pieces into one skillfully integrated whole - a 
proper act of conservation and restoration of the COMB. 


I 


55 



Left: The current registration 
number on the boat (MHM). 

MHM’s 3D scans of the Cokato Boat 
Works Outboard Motor Boat. The 
scanning process included several 
scans saved as separate files. 
Because of the vagaries in lighting, 
the color version of the scanned 
images appears like a patchwork 
(below). 



56 


Herter’s Model St. Lawrence Outboard Motor Boat (1 988.338.1. A-C) 

Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Ramsey County 

History 

MHM first learned of the Herter’s Model St. Lawrence Outboard Motor Boat (HSL) when 
visiting the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) warehouse in January 2014." 
Herter’s, Inc., established in 1937 by George Herter, initially occupied the upper level of 
his father’s dry goods store in Waseca. Growing during the 1940s, Herter’s 
manufactured and sold a variety of hunting equipment (including firearms and 
ammunition), fishing tackle, decoys, other types of sporting goods, and soon - boats - 
by mail order catalog. The company opened 7 brick and mortar stores 100 , but over the 
decades the company was primarily known for its mail order business and quirky 
catalogs, written by George Herter with his “Barnum-esque” language. This habit is 
reflected in the description of “Herter’s Aircraft Division, Inc. - World’s largest suppliers 
of aircraft, air missile and air target liquid glass resins”. Also, Herter proudly claimed 
many of his products had earned the endorsement of the ‘North Star Guides 
Association’ - an organization that was a figment of his imagination. Further, Herter’s 
catalogs and several custom-casted metal products claimed the company was 
established in 1893 - the year Edward O. Herter founded his store in Waseca - and not 
in 1937. Regardless of fantastic claims, it is fact that a Waseca company’s production of 
400,000-500,000 Herter’s catalogs per order made it one of the busiest US commercial 
printing firms. Herter’s other publications considered a variety of topics, including a 
recipe book that had 15 editions and Hitler’s omelet recipe, he claimed. Herter’s has 
been characterized as “the Sears, Roebuck of the outdoor industry.. .[and] was the 
inspiration for today’s huge mail order and big-box outdoor retailers”. This moniker is 
helpful to place Herter’s in an historical context as an innovator in American commerce. 
However, over-extension and other circumstances pushed the company into bankruptcy 
in 1977. Cabela’s acquired the Herter’s brand and it still embosses ammunition boxes 
and other products (Collins 2008; Copyright Office 1957, 1118; Smith 2015). 



Left: USGS Map of Waseca with the 
Herter’s, Inc. factory circled in red 
(1964). Below: Aerial image of the 
Herter’s factory in July 1951 (John R. 
Borchert Map Library) 



MHM was at the MNHS to document and take a wood sample from a dugout canoe for the Minnesota Dugout Canoe Project. 
100 The stores were located in Waseca and Glenwood, MN, Mitchell, SD, Beaver Dam, Wl, Iowa City and Iowa Falls, IA, and in 
Olympia, WA. 




57 


Herter’s Boats and Boat-Building Supplies 

By 1949 the company sold boat-making supplies, including “Herter’s Famous Blue 
Prints” for several types of wooden fishing and hunting boats - and water shoes. Water 
shoes appear to be thin wooden planks attached to the feet and designed “by a foreign 
power for moving fully equipped troops quickly and safely over inland water and 
swamps”. Further, by 1951 the company sold and advertised “new life for old boats”, 
promoting the sale and use of fiberglass fabric and resin to preserve and protect 
wooden hulls. Herter’s further touted their fiberglass application process with claims that 
their “Fiberglas has 5 times the tensile strength of steel. ..will stop a bullet, is rotproof, 
wormproof, corrosionproof, non-deteriorating, permanently colored if desired”. Other 
watercraft-related supplies in Herter’s catalogs include their “Famous Dull Duck Boat 
Paint”, “Famous Concentrated Marine Boat Cement and Crack Repairer”, marine glue, 
and canvas waterproofer, filler, and shrinker, fiberglass hull patching kits, metal safety 
boat stabilizers, metal oarlocks, wooden oars and copper oar tips. By 1954, Herter’s 
promotion of their chrome fiberglass cloth and liquid glass led to the production of their 
own line of watercraft - using wood or chrome fiberglass to construct the hulls (Herter’s 
Inc. 1949, 74-77, 1951, 37-43; Motor Boating 1952a, 120-121, 1952b, 104, 1954, 379). 


\ # Herter * lhe «nl> 

\ j-las p^cet^ laH proce^ f lhc Oernxnt 

“ M ' Naw. .»«> ** 

\ & «»y »*•« ‘ - 

\ 9 Reliable- * * ' A I 


Corp*- | i 0 «esl »n r ° * e ulVt* . 

*525. or 

fiive vouf \io«rs ° r ' ; if in 2 W ^ - 1 

Her,rr f,h \ 

UrKriorof'K- 

rowonprooi. o® 

WL 

today- 


CHROME FIBERGLAS CLOTH 
and LIQUID GLASS 

BOAT COVERING and MAKING 


BUY DIRECT AT WHOLESALE PRICES! 


195' 


GUARANTEED LOWEST PRICES. 
WORLD'S LARGEST SUPPLIERS. 
WRITE TODAY FOR HUGE 
NEW CATALOG NO. ANK 


J 


HERTER’S SST f£s "««•* Mi ""“ 8 ’ 0 






GUARANTEED SOLD AT LESS 
THAN WHOLESALE PRICES 

9 14 ft. Takes outboards up to 25 Horsepower. Made of 
Owens Corning fiberglas and duraluminum. Made in off 
season to give work to decoy plant. nfl 

Guaranteed $600.00 value. May be left 
outside the year around. Uncondition- 
ally guaranteed. y* FOB Waseca 


Herter’s advertisements promoting boats and boat 
maintenance products (Motor Boat 1952, Motorboating 
1954, 379, Popular Science 1957, 85, 1959, 245 

1 Jshd \^L« c lT:^ NA .^ t> ^s 



WRITE FOR CATALOG DEPT. CAFW 

LUHERTER'S Vaseca, Minn. Since 1893 


\ U . S€D 8Y ARMY ' navy and marines 

\\ a ^ ow Cost — Apply fa #e> M ft r | 

* ■ • "• «* cu,!,ZL I 

COMBAT AIRPLANES AUTff r PROOF VESTS, 

B ° DIES 


HERTER’S 

WASECA, MlNNFQnTA 







58 


The Waseca factory’s address was 1 I6V2 State Street in Waseca by 1949 (and possibly 
earlier), was registered with the State of Minnesota as the ‘Herter’s Hunting Equipment 
Plant’ in 1952 and 1955, described as a company manufacturing “fishing tackle and 
hunting equipment, including decoys” - no mention of boats specifically. However, in 
1956 Herter’s published a detailed account of their chrome fiberglass process that 
plated spun fiberglass with chrome. Herter’s produced fiberglass by melting glass 
marbles, subjecting the liquid glass to air blowers to form the melted glass into filaments 
that were wound around a drum, and then the fibers were brought together into one 
thread and collected onto spools. The spools were heated to remove starch and at this 
point, the glass fibers were coated with chrome that “gives the glass fibers a permanent 
coat which tends to shed moisture and most important of all makes the Resinote 101 
when applied stick tightly to the glass. Herter’s evidence that chrome fiberglass boats 
were made from “the one material from which the best boats are being built” was the 
acceptance by the US Navy, Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps to utilize the material to 
manufacture boats, combat helmets, flak jackets, and Infantry combat armor. A Navy 
report stated that chrome fiberglass “saturated with plastic resins simply cannot leak. 
The only water that can come in, is spray or rain. ..the chrome glass fiber laminated hull 
will not stretch, swell, shrink, or otherwise change its shape or increase in weight, nor 
will it oxidize (rust)”. Further, the Navy determined that the smooth hulls increased a 
boat’s speed and the lack of fasteners - wood screws - enhanced the hull’s strength. 
Two test boats, one partially buried on a beach for 1 year and other left to soak in water 
- and ice during the winter - for 2 years, experienced no changes. Herter’s sold chrome 
fiberglass boat covering kits through the specialized catalog - along with wood and 
chrome fiberglass boats. This addition to the company’s manufacturing enterprise was 
reflected in their 1957 business listing: “Herter’s Inc., George L. Herter, fishing tackle, 
gunstocks, fly tying equipment, shotgun chokes & ventilated ribs, reloading equipment 
and components, decoys, game calls, fiberglass boats & boat coverings, marine 
hardware” (Herter’s Inc. 1956, 3-4; Research Division 1949, 204, 1952, 68, 1955, 65, 
1957, 61). 



The Herter’s, Inc. factory 
complex still exists south of 
downtown Waseca (Google 
Earth 2015). 


101 


Resinote is Herter’s own brand of resin used to manufacture fiberglass boats. 



59 


Therefore, Herter’s, Inc. began manufacturing boats in their Waseca factory in 1956. 
That year, the company offered 5 open hull chrome fiberglass outboard motor boat 
models: Canada (12 foot), Hudson Bay (14 foot), Manitoba (14 foot), St. Lawrence (16 
foot), and Quebec (16 foot). Herter’s also offered the hulls of the Canada, Hudson Bay, 
and Quebec models without the aluminum benches, gunwales, stringers, and other 
fittings, intended for customers who preferred to customize their boats, or use them as 
molds to create their own fiberglass vessels. Models Hudson Bay and Quebec could be 
ordered with a ‘duraluminum’ 1 ® foredeck and lifting handle or an amidships deck for an 
additional charge. Models Manitoba and St. Lawrence have deeper hulls and are wider 
in the beam than the Canada, Hudson Bay, and Quebec models. The open hulled 
chrome fiberglass models had duraluminum fittings, including hollow keels, benches, 
stringers, and extruded duraluminum gunwales. All 5 models could be painted tanager 
red, jet black, or marine green for an additional cost - otherwise the chrome fiberglass 
hulls were delivered in their post-production translucent state (Herter’s Inc. 1956, 23-29). 


HEAVY DUTY "* A Bet ter 


° VER, ^7.Vy WEIGHT CHROMt ' 

EAV Y DUTY V/EIG A Better Boat ForUj 

Read Carefully YouWi — — == : — 

HERTER'S CHROME FIBERGLAS MODEL MANITOBA 

AND MODEL ST. LAWRENCE 


Herter’s specialized catalog 
featured images and long 
explanations about why everyone 
should buy their boats or use their 
chrome fiberglass to fix their boats 
(Herter’s, Inc. 1956, 10, 24-26, 
digitized by MHM). 


PHOTOGRAPH OF OUR CHROME FIBERGLAS MODEL 
QUEBEC HULL DESIGN 



Photograph of Model SL Lawrence on the Water. 



Photo No. 1 shows the unique aircraft type bracing * 
the bottom that gives strength without weight Note 
the number of Navy Epofoam Plastic filled flotation tacit* 
for positive buoyancy under any condition. 

HERTER'S INC., WASECA, MINNESOTA, U. S- A 


PHOTOGRAPH OF OUR CHROME FIBERGLAS 
MODEL HUDSON BAY ON THE WATER 

This photograph is not very good as it was taken on 
an overcast day, but it does show some of the beautiful lines 
and manner in which our boats perform. 



Photo No. 2. Model Hudson Bay 


102 


Duraluminum was a trade name for an early form of aluminum alloy. See pages 65-67 for examples of Herter’s boats. 




60 


Also in 1956, limited numbers of Herter’s outboard runabout models Mark III (14 foot) 
and Mark IX (16 foot) were offered for sale. These chrome fiberglass boats had 
foredecks, steering wheels, and 2 cockpits. Herter compared their sportier boat, the 
“Duofoil World Famous Flying Fish Runabout”, to a spaceship with its chrome fiberglass 
hull, duraluminum fittings, and port and starboard fins. Double-ended and square stern 
canoes, as well as duck and goose boats, rounded out the 10 models of chrome 
fiberglass watercraft offered for sale in 1956 (Herter’s Inc. 1956, 25-26). 


HERTER'S CHROME FIBERGLAS DUOFOIL WORLD 
FAMOUS FLYING FISH RUNABOUT 
MEASUREMENTS AND PRICES 

Although this famous runabout looks like a space ship 
its design is time proven. It is actually a composite of the 
two fastest boats in the world which in turn represent the 
latest in proven marine design to date. 

The forward part of the Flying Fish uses the proven 
design principles of the boat Slo-Mo-Shun, North America’s 
fastest boat and safest high speed boat. The rear of the hull 
uses the design principles of the English Bluebird boat, the 
fastest and safest European fast boat. 

The hull and deck are chrome fiberglas. The gunwales, 
sprayrails and keel are strong duraluminum. The prow 
piece is hand cast duraluminum and has a built in stream- 
lined handle. 



Side and Top View 


Right: Herter’s 
Mark III and IX 
in 1956 
(Herter’s, Inc. 
1956, 25). 


HERTER'S CHROME FIBERGLAS MARK III AND 
MARK IX RUNABOUTS. $900 RUNABOUTS 
FOR $267.00 

We will produce only a very few Mark III and Mark 
fX runabouts this year as we produce them only to keep 
some of our good employees during off seasons and most 
of this time will go to our regular Chrome Fiberglas boats. 




The Herter’s Spaceship, the Duofoil World Famous Flying Fish Runabout, owned by the Jetsons 

(Herter’s, Inc. 1956, 26; Woodyboater.com). 

However, Herter’s 1956 watercraft manufacturing team also offered wooden boats to 
their customers who preferred wood instead of fiberglass. MHM suspects the thinness - 
and the translucent nature of the un-painted examples - of the entirely chrome 
fiberglass hulls might have not inspired confidence in some sportsmen and pleasure 
boaters. The wooden boats were constructed of marine plywood, white oak, or 
mahogany, and were shipped with a chrome fiberglass kit with enough material for the 
new owner to cover the wooden vessel: models Fort Francis Voyageur (12 foot), Sioux 
Duck Boat (12 foot), Winnebago Rice Boat (12 foot), and Cree Pike (14 foot). Herter’s 
also sold boat trailers to accommodate 16 foot long boats or less, canvas boat covers, 
oars, cleats, chocks, oarlocks, anchors, bow rollers, bow lights, spotlights, steering 
wheels, throttle controllers and cables, detachable seats, carrying handles, transom 
plates, outboard motor locks, anchor lines, hull bumpers - and the list goes on, right to 
pennants and flags. Lastly, the company still sold watercraft blue prints, first offered in 
1949 (Herter’s Inc. 1956, 30-47). In 1957, Herter’s continued to manufacture the open 
hull chrome fiberglass watercraft with the translucent hulls (Hudson Bay, Quebec, 
Canada, Manitoba, St. Lawrence) and expanded the choices of sporty chrome 



61 


fiberglass and duraluminum runabouts: Mark III, Mark IV, Mark IX, Flying Fish, and El 
Dorado Rocket. The port and starboard quarter fins on the Flying Fish and El Dorado 
Rocket grew larger and larger after 1956 (Knauff ND). 103 

Herter’s Model St. Lawrence Outboard Motor Boat 

MHM documented the HSL on February 8, 15, 17, and March 1, 8 and 22, 2017 at the 
MNHS warehouse. The HSL’s hull is 15.50 feet long, 64.50 inches in the beam, with a 
25.00-inch depth of hold, and a wide flat bottom. Herter’s listed the length of the HSL as 
16.00 feet long and 64.00 inches wide (Herter’s 1956, 26). The .50-inch beam and part 
of the 6.00-inch hull length difference are attributed to the warping of the starboard side 
of the hull that has affected the length and beam of the watercraft. However, the 
warping does not account for more than 1.0-inch of the difference; MHM attributes the 
other 5.00 inches to the habit of boat-builders to often round-up hull length 
measurements. The chrome fiberglass hull was formed using the female mold method; 
the fiberglass fabric was laid over the mold and covered with resin to form it to the mold 
and harden the cloth. An extruded duraluminum gunwale and hollow keel help with hull 
rigidity. Four angle sockets attached to the gunwale were designed to take the French 
Canadian oarlocks that are attached to the 2 wooden oars associated with the boat 
(Herter 1956, 34). It is unknown if the oars are original to this boat, although the 
oarlocks are of Herter’s manufacture. Two longitudinal duraluminum stringers attached 
to the inner hull bottom on both port and starboard are connected to each other with 5 
floor-like athwartships braces. The HSL has 4 duraluminum benches with 8 seat braces 
that attach them to the gunwale on both port and starboard. 104 The gunwale supports 
the small front seat bench, but 3 stanchions attached to the floor-like braces hold up the 
3 aft-most benches. Under each bench, ‘air tank’ chambers are formed of square U- 
shaped duraluminum, each filled with rectangular pieces of ‘Navy Epofoam plastic’ - 
flotation foam (Herter’s 1956, 23). A stern knee 105 attached to the inner hull bottom 
provides rigidity and stability at the transom. The top edge of the knee is inter-locked 
with a neoprene and aluminum transom plate and caprail that Herter’s claimed was 
“quiet, vibration proof with all motors. Unconditionally guaranteed the quietest, most 
vibration free boat in the world” (Herter’s 1956, 22). Stern castings with carrying handles 
attached at the gunwale level on port and starboard provide further strength. Hollow 
duraluminum splashrails are attached to the outer hull on port and starboard. The HSL 
has a bow casting with a handle and an optional bow eye bolt that would serve as a 
towing ring or anchor line guide. 


MHM’s Kelly Nehowig and 
Christopher Olson measuring 
the Herter’s Model St. 
Lawrence (MHM). 



103 See pages 65-67 for examples of Herter’s boats. 

104 The Herter’s catalog labels the seat brace “American Type Made of Galvanized Rustproof Steel” (Herter’s 1956, 36). 
105 The Herter’s catalog labeled the stern knee a “Hand Made English Type Streamline Transom Knee” (Herter’s 1956, 36). 



62 



Scuffs and marks are indicators of wear on the hull over the decades. At the starboard 
quarter inside the hull, rust stains indicate the location of the gas stank for the outboard 
motor. On the starboard side amidships at the turn of the bilge, a 2-layered square 
patch of fiberglass and resin represents a hull repair. Larger and more obvious repairs 
are located on the port transom. A long rectangular unpainted fiberglass patch is 
applied to the outer hull at the junction of the transom and the port side. On the port side 
transom, another repair is comprised of 2 fiberglass strips sealed to the hull with white 
resin or caulking, and left unpainted. The junction repair provides helpful evidence 
pertaining to the working life of the HSL because it is applied under the port side 
splashrail. This detail confirms that whomever conducted the maintenance on the HSL 
removed the splashrail during the process and this information is significant because of 
the boat’s hull color. When manufactured, Herter’s chrome fiberglass boats were 
translucent, but the factory would paint the hull for an additional cost. According to DNR 
records, the HSL was constructed in 1956 (John Nordby, personal communication, 




63 


March 6, 2017), the first year that Herter’s constructed boats. However, Herter’s offered 
3 hull colors for Model St. Lawrence in 1956: jet black, marine green, and tanager red. 
The HSL hull color, however, does coincide with one offered by Herter’s at least by 
1969; it is called ‘dead grass’. MHM suggests the boat might have been translucent for 
many years and the owners purchased a supply of dead grass paint from Herter’s and 
painted it themselves. One piece of evidence supporting this theory is the uneven 
application of the paint in some places on the outer hull, where it has nearly worn off. 
Regardless, whoever painted the boat after it left the factory took care to remove the 
metal attributes prior to painting the hull. 



Repairs to the hull of the Model St. Lawrence 
(MHM). 


HERTER BOAT COLORS 



Teal Blue Tanager Red Marine Green Gull While 



Navy Blue Wine Dead Gnm $«a Gr ** n 


A Herter’s Boat Color Chart 
(Herter’s, Inc. 1969). 



Jet Black Dark Brown Live Rush 


The HSL’s registration number, seen on the starboard and port bow, is MN 4042 AB; 
this number was assigned to the boat in 1959 when the State of Minnesota first required 
motor boat registrations. An aluminum plaque attached to the inner hull on the port side 
forward says ‘MINNESOTA LICENSED BOAT PERMANENT NO. 51896 DO NOT 
OVERLOAD BE SAFE STAY WITH BOAT’; the origin of this metal plate is unknown. 
Other on-hull evidence recording the life of the HSL includes remnants of older 
Minnesota-shaped year validation stickers near the registration number, including 
orange (1977-78-79), yellow (1980-81-82), and blue (1983-84-85). The latest sticker, a 












64 


1988 light-colored square, confirms the DNR records: “16’ Herters 1956, made of 
fiberglass, last registered 12/31/1988” (John Nordby, personal communication, April 6, 
2017). Over the decades, the hull’s registration number has been applied and re-applied 
to the hull as evidenced by a surviving ‘4’ decal underneath the ‘N’ on the port side and 
the outlines of other numbers as well. The latest registration decals were adhered to 
rectangular plexiglass pieces that are attached to the port and starboard bow with 
screws. Interestingly, the port side plexiglass piece has trapped dried leaves and other 
detritus underneath it; MHM contends the owners applied the plexiglass in the Spring of 
1986 when the square sticker was valid, after leaving the hull outside since the autumn 
of 1985. Lastly, the bow casting of the HSL has proven to be from a different model of 
Herter’s boat - a Model Hudson Bay. Hudson Bay chrome fiberglass boats were 14.00 
feet long, 55.00 inches in the beam, and 20.00-inch deep - much different than the 
HSL. Further, the Model Quebec was 16.00 feet long like the HSL, but had a 56.00-inch 
beam and was 23.00-inch deep - much less substantial than the HSL (Herter’s 1956, 
24). The HSL spent over 4 decades on the waters of Lake Minnetonka in Hennepin and 
Carver Counties, and East Fox Lake in Crow Wing County before its donation to the 
MNHS in 1988 (MNHS 1988). 



Above: The Herter’s 
Model St. Lawrence’s 
registration number and 
identification plaque 
(MHM). 


Left: The bow casting 
that says “Model 
Hudson Bay” instead of 
“Model St. Lawrence” 
(MHM). 




65 



MHM’s 3D scans of the Herter’s Model 
St. Lawrence Outboard Motor Boat. 
The scanning process included several 
scans saved as separate files. 
Because of the vagaries in lighting, the 
color version of the scanned images 
appears like a patchwork (left and 
below). 




Examples of Herter’s, Inc. Boats 
Model St. Lawrence 


66 



offerup.com 



Model Hudson Bay 



jlyforums.com 


1959 

smartmarineguide.com 



Waseca County Historical Society 
(Joan Mooney) 




67 


Model Quebec Model Goose-Duck 



Mark V Runabout Flying Fish Standard 



forums.iboats.com ronsusser.com 


Duofoil World Famous Flying Fish Runabout 




forgottenfiberglass.com 





68 


Duofoil World Famous Flying Fish Runabout 



El Dorado Rocket Runabout 








69 


Conclusions 

To more fully understand the cultural information 5 small watercraft documented during 
the MSC Project provides, it is helpful to consider the boats within their historical 
contexts. The Ramaley Boat Company was a prolific and long-established boat works at 
the time of the FFRB’s construction. Combining the inventory and facilities of the Moore 
Boat Works on Lake Minnetonka in Wayzata in 1912 strengthened Ramaley’s business 
in Hennepin County. Historical records pertaining to Ramaley-built boats, particularly 
photographs and surviving catalogs - along with the nautical archaeological record - 
reveal the wide range of vessel types the company designed and constructed. The 
diversity of boat designs offered by the company indicates their broad customer base: 
fishermen, hunters, sail and motor pleasure boaters, sail and motor racers, and 
houseboat enthusiasts. The FFRB, as one of the simpler forms of Ramaley vessel, is 
one of the most-overlooked historic watercraft: a small wooden fishing boat. Small 
wooden fishing boats of the 19 th and early 20 th Centuries undoubtedly out-numbered all 
other types and sizes of watercraft built in Minnesota. The basic commonality of small 
wooden boats, and often the lower quality of wood that comprised the hulls, has led to a 
dearth of this vessel type in museum collections. However, as MHM conducts 
underwater archaeological investigations in more Minnesota lakes, additional small 
boats will be identified - preserved on the bottoms of our cold freshwater lakes. 
Additionally, at least one larger Ramaley-built boat is an identified wreck on the bottom 
of Lake Minnetonka - the Ramaley Family Motor Boat Wreck (21-HE-490) - adding to 
the body of known Ramaley watercraft to still exist. 

A crew of Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe boatwrights constructed the IOMB and the 
craftsmanship exhibited in the hull’s components is evident. The use of the Indian 
Trading Post Boat Works vessels within the business of the Post as part of the Lake 
Mille Lacs economy was a form of seasonally sustainable commerce. The Depression- 
era employment of Mille Lacs Band members as boatwrights, painters, and fishing 
guides benefited the people locally. Further, the sale of boats beyond Lake Mille Lacs 
strengthened the Ojibwe economy through increased production - and possibly led to 
the survival of the IOMB. It is hoped additional products of the Indian Trading Post Boat 
Works are identified, both in dry storage and on the bottom of Minnesota’s lakes. 
Regardless of decades of storage in an uncontrolled environment, the IOMB is stable 
and will continue to survive in its current situation. 

Significant numbers of antique boat collections are aware of the long history of the 
Joseph Dingle Boat Works around the country, particularly the story of the Gerry Lo. 
However, few Minnesotans are aware of the Dingle Boat Works, its longevity, the 
diversity of the watercraft it designed and offered for sale - and how few Dingle-built 
vessels have survived. During the maritime historical research process, MHM was 
impressed by the prolific nature of the company, particularly their design and production 
of fast catboat and sloop racing yachts and motor ‘auto’ racing boats. From row boats to 
sailboats to power racers to houseboats to subchasers to towboats, three generations 
of the Dingle family produced well-designed and constructed watercraft on the banks of 
the Mississippi River in St. Paul for 69 years. During the MSC Project, MHM confirmed 
the survival of 7 Dingle-built vessels and until recently, 6 of them were still in Minnesota. 
To date, no Dingle wrecks have been confirmed and identified on the bottom of any lake 
or river in Minnesota or the United States. With these facts recognized, the continued 



70 


survival of the DOMB greatly enhances our shared maritime history and in its current 
circumstances, this Minnesota legacy is assured. 

The three known examples of the short-lived Cokato Boat Works watercraft to have 
survived, out of the 40 or so small vessels the company produced, greatly enhance 
Minnesota’s maritime history. The Mattson brother’s brief stint into boatbuilding 
produced sturdy and good-looking wooden watercraft at a time when aluminum and 
fiberglass were beginning their dominance in the post-World War II personal watercraft 
market. The production of handcrafted wooden boats on a small scale was impossible 
to sustain - regardless of the probable Larson Boat Company subcontract following the 
1949 fire. However, the continued use of the Cokato Boat Works vessels into the 2010s 
is a testament to their quality construction and design. 

Contrastingly, Herter’s, Inc. produced inexpensive watercraft in a factory setting, 
primarily out of fiberglass. Apparently Herter’s did not produce a set number of 
watercraft per year or per season, regardless of their catalog offerings. However, the 
longevity of known lightweight Herter’s chrome fiberglass boats supports the maker’s 
contention that like all of their products, their watercraft were world famous, unsinkable, 
corrosion-proof, and rot-proof. Herter’s, Inc. and its plethora of diverse offerings of 
sporting goods was the beginning of the mail-order catalog industry as well as the ‘big 
box’ nature that late 20 th Century commercial endeavors would adopt. This business 
practice did not help or hinder the production of watercraft since Herter’s produced 
boats and canoes that could be ordered as a base model or with additional gear, at very 
cheap prices. 

The preservation of the wooden-hulled FFRB, IOMB, and DOMB into the 21 st Century, 
at ages of approximately 85-110 years old, is a tribute to the Ramaley, Trading Post, 
and Dingle firms, and the significance of Minnesota boat building and design. On a 
smaller scale, the COMB represents boat design and construction knowledge at a time 
when that ability was being replace by technological advancements. On the other hand, 
the HSL represents one of the ‘future’ conditions of boatbuilding; not in innovative 
design or quality, but in the production of cheaper watercraft out of durable materials. 
Further, considering the great numbers of boats produced by the long-lived firms of 
Ramaley, Dingle, and Herter’s, to have 3 of 40 Cokato Boat Works and 1 of 200 Indian 
Trading Post Boat Works examples survive is fortunate for our shared maritime cultural 
heritage. Even more importantly, the donation of the COMB and IOMB - along with the 
FFRB, DOMB, and HSL - to museums guarantees their healthy survival in perpetuity. 

Further, the 3D scanning and documentation of surviving watercraft assists underwater 
archaeologists in identifying wrecks of the same or similar manufacture on the bottom of 
Minnesota’s lakes and rivers. In addition, the 3D scanning of complete boats and 
specific components and attributes is useful for preservation, conservation, and 
restoration purposes. Also, printing examples of the scanned boats in 3D miniature can 
augment the archival record of each object, and even promote a museum’s collection by 
offering the printed models as gift shop kits, complete with paint. 



71 


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